Sports gambling sponsorships on their way out in Spain

Spain sports gambling ads

Gambling operators look set to be banned from sponsoring football teams in Spain from the beginning of the 2020/2021 La Liga season. 

This regulation forms part of the Royal Decree on Advertising, which was passed on to the European Commission yesterday. 

Welcome bonuses are also set to be prohibited, with the expected strict window where gambling advertising is permitted remaining in the legislation. 

Almost half of clubs in Spain’s top footballing division have gambling operators on the front of their shirts, with others having betting-related partnerships. 

Before coming into force, the latest legislation draft must be approved by the European Commission.

Gambling sponsorships pretty much shut out of the Spanish sporting landscape 

In the legislation, it is stated that jersey and kit sponsorships in Spanish sports “will not be admissible”. Operators are also set to be stopped from agreeing naming rights deals with stadiums, leagues and competitions. Each state will be allowed to decide whether or not they individually want to ban pitch-side gambling ads too. 

For the 2019/2020 season, eight of La Liga’s 20 clubs have gambling operators as their shirt sponsors. These include high-profile teams who have competed in Europe this season, such as Valencia and Sevilla. Meanwhile, 17 of the division’s sides have some form of sponsorship deal with a betting company. 

La Liga itself will be impacted by the new regulations, with the organisation currently partnered with Sportium – owned by Cirsa. 

Welcome bonuses also on their way out 

If the European Commission approves Spain’s submitted gambling laws, all welcome bonus offers will be out of the question. Operators will also only be allowed to give offers to players who have a) had their account for longer than a month and b) deposited into their account at least three times. 

Back in February, the Ministry proposed that all bonus offers were subjected to a €100 cap. However, the latest Royal Decree on Advertising draft gives the power to each state gambling regulator “develop conditions and limits” as they wish. 

Staying in the latest version of the legislation is the 1am-5am window that operators are allowed to advertise via broadcast outlets each night. However, advertising during live sporting events has now been taken out. Spain’s state-owned lottery will be exempt from advertising restrictions, provided that references to specific lottery products are not made.