Fines of up to one million for not abiding by limits on online gambling advertising

The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón.
EFE

The Government has approved the royal decree to regulate audiovisual advertising of online gambling and gambling, which prohibits advertisements outside the hours of one to five in the morning and provides fines for operators of up to one million euros and the suspension of business activity.

These are some of the premises of this royal decree, which, according to the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, at the press conference after the Council of Ministers, “ends the law of the jungle” that has governed the audiovisual advertising sector of gaming operators until now.

A rule with which, according to Garzón, the Government responds to a social alarm that had been generated “in a justified manner” and with which it is intended to protect the health of the most vulnerable population, minors, young people and people with addiction pathology.

The new text refers to the television and radio advertising of the game on the Internet that limits it to that stretch of the morning. Advertising in the non-specialized written press is only allowed in those cases in which the edition is exclusively autonomous and the autonomic norm does not prevent it. In practice, according to Consumption sources, most are prohibited because there are regional laws that prohibit this type of advertising.

The standard approved this Tuesday, which will come into force with its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), provides that sports clubs may not display advertising of game operators on their kits, just as it cannot be promoted by “famous” people, and it prohibits the issuance of promotional bonds to attract customers.

Companies may only direct their offers to registered and verified customers and, in no case, to people who have shown pathological behaviors in gambling activity; for this, new obligations are established for operators to strengthen control of access to the betting market.

The breaches will be of the serious type and the operators of the game may be sanctioned with fines of between 100,000 and a million euros and with the suspension of its activity in Spain for a maximum period of six months.

The new text also adjusts the content of advertising messages to protect the most vulnerable sectors, since according to Consumption, in the last four years, investment figures in advertising, promotion and sponsorship have tripled in Spain. Parallel to this increase in investment, according to Consumer data, there has been an increase in gambling activity among young people between 18 and 25 years old.

For example, in 2017, 28% of the new players were part of this age group, and two years later the figure has increased twelve points and stands at 40%, according to the data managed by this Ministry.

The regulation develops articles 7 and 8 of the Gaming Law of 2011, and does so through four titles (another 37 articles), six additional provisions, four transitory provisions, a repealing provision and three final provisions.

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