The Gaming Law that the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, presented last week to the European Commission has been approved. The member countries of the EU support the decree of Law to regulate the advertising of betting houses and gaming operators in Spain. Next step is to take it before the Congress of Ministers and have it approved by the different parliamentary groups. The new regulations on online gambling in Spain are expected to come into effect from October. This law leaves the Spanish private gaming industry, touched and sunk.
Yesterday, Wednesday July 22, Minister Garzón appeared before the Mixed Commission on Addictions, where he disclosed all the details of this new Gaming Law. The next step will be the approval of the decree by the Council of Ministers in October. The Gaming Law will prohibit 90% of the gambling advertisements that are currently broadcast in Spain.
Spanish private gaming industry, touched and sunk
The Gaming Law presented to the European Commission is more restrictive than the one Garzón presented in February. Measures taken:
- Advertisements from bookmakers and private gaming operators may only be broadcast in the early hours of the morning, between 1 am and 5 am. Advertising will not be allowed at sporting events that take place after 8 pm, as previously announced.
- Bookmakers or operators may not use public figures, athletes to publicize the brand.
- Soccer or sports teams may not sponsor game operators on T-shirt or any sports equipment. The ban also extends to stadiums or venues.
- Prohibition of advertising bonuses and promotions, including welcome or loyalty bonuses.
- Advertising directed at minors or vulnerable people is exempt. Gambling cannot be persuaded or incited.
- Gambling operators or bookmakers should carry the instinctive “+18” or similar.
Disagreement by the private sector
The disagreement of the private sector in Spain has not been long in coming. The European Association of Gaming Operators and JDigital reject the decree presented by the Government to the European Commission. According to both employers, the new Gaming Law will lead to a very significant increase in illegal websites. Which will lead to a lack of protection for users against the game. It will also directly harm sports clubs, reduced after the coronavirus health crisis. Part of the clubs’ income comes from gambling operators and bookmakers. Only during the months of April and May of this year, the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling blocked 414 unregulated gambling websites. On the same dates last year, the same body blocked 196. So it is expected that once the new decree of law enters into force, illegal websites will grow disproportionately.