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The draft Royal Decree on commercial communications for gambling activities as been published, as announced on Friday, February 21, by the minister of consumer affairs. This draft royal decree develops sections 7 and 8 of Act 13/2011, of May 27, on the regulation of gambling, relating to the advertising, sponsorship, and promotion of gambling activities, and responsible gambling policies.

Until now, these sections had not been implemented in the legislation, so the likely approval of this royal decree over the next few months would cover t

he regulatory gap that has existed for almost nine years in advertising since the coming into force of the Spanish Gambling Act.

With 37 articles, the draft royal decree introduces over 100 measures to regulate the advertising of gambling and betting, which can be summarized along two main lines: (i) the form of broadcasting the advertising, limiting the times for broadcasting commercial communications on gambling and betting, and (ii) the contents of the advertising, establishing which messages will be adequate within the time slots allowed.

The set of measures proposed in the draft royal decree includes the following:

  • In general, commercial communication on gambling and betting will be restricted to the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. slot. As an exception, advertising may be broadcast during sports events held outside children’s viewing time after 8 p.m., and only during the time when the sports event in question takes place.
  • Prohibition of sponsorships consisting of the use of an operator’s brand or trade name to identify sports facilities or any other training center. Their use as the name of sports teams is also prohibited. This measure does not affect the sponsorship of sports T-shirts, which will continue to be allowed.
  • Prohibition of the use of the brand, trade name, or any similar element or distinctive sign in products or services for minors.
  • Prohibition of advertising welcome bonuses, and restricting them to a maximum of €100 in any case.
  • Prohibition of public figures or celebrities, whether real or fictional, in commercial communications on gambling.

With the publication of the draft royal decree, the public consultation period starts in which all interested parties have until March 16, 2020, to file any submissions they see fit, so that they can be considered in the final text of the royal decree.

Based on the above, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has opted for a strict regulatory paradigm rather than a total prohibition of commercial communications on gambling and betting. These measures are intended to restrict the harmful effects that gambling advertising may have on consumers. However, the ministry has announced that this is the first of a number of measures within a comprehensive plan that will address the subject more extensively.

Authors: Alicia Costas and Jorge Monclús

This post is also available in: Español



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