Garzón regulates and improves in-game advertising for the first time

“We will approve a regulation of advertising for gambling and betting similar to that for tobacco products,” promised the agreement between PSOE and Podemos in late December. The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón , explained a few days ago that the betting announcements on radio and television would be reduced to the strip from 1 to 5 in the morning.. However, the decree of commercial communications of the activities of the game prepared by his department has remained halfway with respect to this limitation, from which radio and television broadcasts of massive sporting events are excluded, a measure that especially affects soccer, which start from 20.00. During the season, almost every day there are games in this time slot, so this type of advertising can continue to be broadcast daily.

Sources from the ministry now point out that they are betting on this type of regulation because a total ban, as happened in Italy in 2018, can be counterproductive and cause all advertising to be hosted on foreign pages that are not subject to any regulation. The majority employers of radio and television had expressed their opposition to Garzón’s first announcement, but sources in the department deny having received any type of pressure.

Despite this, sources from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs consider that the decree – which Garzón presents at a press conference this Friday and contains 100 measures – will change “99% of gambling advertising” and highlight that this is the first time that a government regulates this sector. The norm limits the aggressiveness of the messages and the direct appeal to the user. Many of these announcements now include phrases like “bet, bet, bet, win, win, win!”, Which with the new legislation will be prohibited. The contents will have to be neutral, that is, limited to the brand name. In addition, advertising of deposit bonuses of any amount of money is prohibited , although the betting pages themselves are allowed to offer bonuses of up to 100 euros.

Messages that link the game to personal and social success also have their days numbered, while television commercials and radio spots cannot be starred by celebrities and in fluencers . This change in messages will also affect Lotteries and ONCE (not the schedule). The General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling will be the body in charge of ensuring that these conditions are met in the advertisements and, where appropriate, of fining violators with penalties that will start at 100,000 euros and may reach, in the event of recidivism, up to 50 million and even at the close of business.

When the decree comes into force – if the deadlines are met in the summer – this type of companies will not be allowed to sponsor stadiums or team names, as is often the case in basketball. And the billboards of the sports venues will not be able to show betting advertising before 20.00. However, the sponsorship of the shirts is not limited, so that the brands of the bookmakers can continue to see each other at any time. You will only be obliged to remove this advertising from the children’s size shirts.

The billboards will not be able to announce this type of business, unless some autonomous community expressly allows it, since many competences at stake are transferred. Ads will also not be shown in venues where children can go, such as movie theaters. Except, once again, the soccer fields from 20.00. Advertising in newspapers and web pages will not be altered, beyond the regulation of content (not aggressive messages) and that invasive ads on the Internet will be limited – those that open automatically when entering a page. In addition, the banners in this sector must allow parental control. The Government is studying how to regulate ads on platforms such as YouTube .

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