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Spain – EGBA warns against Spain’s all-out ban on gambling advertising

By - 16 July 2020

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has warned that the new advertising limitations for gambling companies in Spain will prompt an increase in illegal gambling.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzón wants to limit online gambling ads to between 1 am and 5 am, with no exceptions for sporting events. It also wants a complete ban on sponsorship of sporting events for gambling companies, including shirt and stadium sponsorship, as well as a ban on introductory/welcome bonuses. Currently, eight clubs in La Liga feature a gambling company as a main shirt sponsor.

EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer warned: “Advertising has a crucial role to play in informing consumers which websites are regulated, and which are not. The near absolute advertising ban proposed in Spain will deprive Spanish players of any information where they can play in a safe and secure environment.”

Banning gambling sponsorship will affect will affect 41 of 42 football clubs in Spain.

“This is highly counterproductive and we urge the Spanish authorities to reconsider the proposals, and focus instead on strict regulation of the contents of advertising,” Mr. Haijer stated. “We fully agree that advertising should be responsible, both in terms of content and design, and that is why we recently published a code of conduct on responsible advertising. The code offers practical ways in which gambling advertising can be conducted in a socially responsible way and as a conduit for informing citizens about important consumer protection measures, such as age restrictions and safer gambling tools. Finally, exempting state-involved lotteries, which account for two thirds of Spain’s gambling market, from the restrictions is unjustified, protectionist and discriminatory.”

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