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Spain – Spain’s Minister of Finance in support of advertising restrictions

By - 23 November 2018

The Minister of Finance of Spain, María Jesús Montero, has come out in support of restrictions on gaming advertising as well as other measures aimed at curbing gambling addiction.

Speaking in the Congress of Deputies Jesús Montero said the Government would comply with the budget agreement made with the Unidos Podemos party when it came to gambling. In relation to the limitation of betting advertising Montero answered “yes” to a question put forward by the deputy of Unidos Podemos, Noelia Vera.

Montero also pointed out that the Executive will approve a royal decree, designed to harmonize and toughen existing autonomous legislation when it came to the regulation of on-site betting houses. The Minister also expressed her concern that too many gambling establishments were located near educational facilities. While defending gambling as a legal activity and that responsible gaming needed to be encouraged, the lawmaker said that there was a danger that gambling might offer the more vulnerable sectors of society with a permanent temptation that gambling could be a means to “make a living or change their luck.”

The Unidos Podemos urged the government on Wednesday to regulate the advertising of online gambling. According to Europa Press, in her speech Vera called for “more effort” by the Treasury to avoid “the embarrassing situation in which television presenters or sports leaders who are a role model for young people and children” are “benefiting” from this practice and “inciting” their followers to gamble. Vera said that restrictions were needed in order to prevent companies and advertisers from “taking a cut” of an activity that is “impoverishing” the population in particular “the most vulnerable.”

Spain’s Ministry of Finance is finalising the draft of a decree that will restrict the publicity and advertising of sports betting, with the aim of protecting minors. With the latest statements in Congress the government looks as if is now closer than ever before to toughening rules on gambling advertising. New rules could be passed by the end of the year.

The ministry is under increasing pressure to change advertising rules when it comes to gambling from left-wing electoral alliance the Podemos Unidos Party, which has been pushing for reform for some time. Following the request put forward by the alliance in budget negotiations, the executive branch is bringing back legislation and could incorporate some of the suggestions made in January by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) a public entity that promotes and defends the proper functioning of all markets, in the interest of consumers and businesses.

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