Spain Submits Gambling Overhaul Plan to EC, Seeks to Suspend Gambling Ads

Spain’s national government has submitted a draft to the European Commission, seeking to introduce new restrictions suspending gambling advertisements, specific sponsorships and promotions in the country.

Gambling Ads and Bonuses May Soon Be Suspended in Spain

The Spanish government continues to issue restrictions to the gambling industry in the country. In the latest move, the government has notified the European Commission that it has established a new measure restricting live sports broadcast advertisement and moving forward – should the EC signs off – the government wouldn’t allow betting sponsorships between sports clubs and gambling firms.

So far, the measure is only sent as a draft to the European Commission, iGaming Business reported, but this is a continuation of the government’s efforts to limit the reach of online and retail gambling and betting in the country.

The country has been very careful not to give betting and gaming business too much leeway. When most businesses received permission to restart operation after the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, gambling firms had to stay closed.

Previously in February, the government said that it would remove as much as 80% of all online gambling advertisement, something that seems very likely in light of current events. As of April 1, Spain rolled in Royal Decree article 37,11/2020, which effectively limited the communication of gambling messages and ads during the pandemic lockdown.

The Latest Draft Submitted to the EC: Ads and Bonuses Restricted

With the latest draft proposal submitted to the European Commission, Spain is looking to remove an exemption from restricting advertisement. Originally, live sports broadcasts taking place between 8 PM and 5 AM were to be allowed to air gambling messages.

The original measure also allowed bonuses of up to €100, but this may now change. Spain reneged on these plans in June and the country has decided to take a closer, harder look at how to best limit aspects of the gambling industry.

Some of the now proposed controls first appeared as part of a temporary measure designed to regulate gambling during the pandemic, but the EC has received a draft that contains the same language and restrictions.

If the measure is successful, sports teams wouldn’t be able to sign gambling partnerships in the sense they would no longer be able to display a gambling firm’s logo on their teams’ shirts as well as sell naming rights to stadiums, competitions, and other sports-related activities.

Operators would only be allowed to send bonuses to individuals who have had a gambling account for at least a month and who have gone through an ID verification process. Heightening the standards in Europe is not new.

Sweden and the United Kingdom have been the two other markets to introduce a number of restrictions recently. In the United Kingdom, lawmakers have called for a number of limitations, including in the advertisement space, but also the suspension of the specific game features related to gambling harm.

In Sweden, new measures have been enacted to help individuals resist the urge to gamble more under quarantine.  

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