Nobody Expects: Spanish Squeeze on Betting Advertising

Published October 18, 2018 by Brett C

Nobody Expects: Spanish Squeeze on Betting Advertising

The 2019 budget in Spain calls for tough new sanctions on advertising for gambling and betting companies. This socially progressive budget is designed to appease those seeking to curtail the predatory industries in Spain.

Gambling companies across Spain are likely to face increased pressure when it comes to advertising and marketing their wares to legal age players in this European country. The government of Spain and its newly elected Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of the PSOE (Socialist Workers Party) intends to crack the whip on advertising for predatory industries.

The Sanchez Budget Seeks Restrictions on Gambling Advertising

Prime Minister Sanchez struck a budget agreement deal with the socialist party, Podemos recently. The deal was inked by Pablo Iglesias, the Podemos leader and Prime Minister Sanchez. At the heart of the deal are restrictions on sin activities and industries that are deemed predatorial by the Spanish government. These include alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling. Back in 2005, the Spanish government set stringent regulations on the promotion of tobacco products in the media.

During 2017, it is estimated (data provided by InfoAdex) that some €143 million in advertising funds was spent by gambling companies in Spain, up 1.8% year-on-year. The new budget proposal will seek to curtail advertising during sports matches vis-a-vis live in-play betting activities that tends to promote gambling among minors and problem gamblers. The objective of the legislation is to avoid addiction and gambling problems in society.

Opposing Forces Weigh in on Gambling Advertising Debate

While the legislation has its proponents, there are also several opponents, notably the president of the Spanish Association of Advertisers, Begona Elices. The CAC (Audiovisual Council of Catalonia) has been in favour of banning betting advertising between 6 AM – 10 AM on TV. These forces remain at loggerheads, given that some believe companies should be able to freely advertise their services in a democratic society. If these plans come to fruition, Spain will join Italy which imposed a blanket ban on gambling advertising across the board. The Italian rules will become effective on January 1, 2019.

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