Spain gambling

Spain lifts emergency coronavirus gambling ad restrictions

The government of Spain has opted to lift the country’s interim coronavirus gambling ad restrictions, which had formed part of an emergency bill.  

Broadcast advertising was severely limited as a means of protecting citizens as the country battled against the spread of COVID-19. 

Operators were only allowed to advertise within a four-hour, late-night window – while social media advertising and the like were completely banned. 

Despite these restrictions being lifted, operators will soon have to contend with permanent strict regulations.

Permanent laws to be enforced soon 

In February, Ministry of Affairs Alberto Garzón announced that operators in Spain would be subjected to strict gambling ad restrictions. 

When these are enforced, the four-hour window of advertising between 1am and 5am will return. This will expand across both radio and television channels. One differentiator, however, is that live broadcasts after 8pm will – with some restrictions – be able to show gambling ads. 

Football clubs will still be allowed to have gambling sponsors. However, team kits will only be allowed to sport an operator’s logo or trademark. Moreover, shirts sized for children won’t be permitted to sport either of these. In-stadium advertising will be banned, as will deals related to stadium naming rights.

The permanent laws are currently being assessed by the European Commission. This is to determine whether or not the proposals go against EU laws related to unfair trade restrictions. 

If operators do not comply with the new regulations once they come into force, they could face substantial financial penalties. These could range anywhere between €100,000 and €1 million, depending on the severity of their violation. 

For now, sports teams don’t need to cover up their gambling shirt sponsors 

La Liga made a comeback from its three-month hiatus last night, with Sevilla taking on Real Betis in the Seville derby. Since the ‘State of Emergency’ won’t be fully lifted until 21st June, it had been expected that clubs with gambling shirt sponsors would need to hide these until then.

But during Sevilla’s 2-0 win at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, they sported the Marathonbet logo on the front of their jerseys. In addition to Los Nervionenses, seven other clubs in Spain’s top footballing division are sponsored by betting operators.

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