Spain is about to change the gambling advertising rules

The proposed changes to the gambling advertising rules have been approved by the Spanish gambling regulator. The amendments proposed by the Spanish Gambling Trade Association Jdigital will enter into force in mid-January and will be accepted by local licensed gambling operators.

At a meeting on November 14, hew changes to the way gambling products are advertised in Spain were agreed on.

The Spanish gambling regulator DGOJ is tasked with overseeing the promotion of gambling and sports betting services, as well as whether operators licensed with DGOJ are in compliance with current rules and codes.

Certain restrictions in gambling advertising are considered to strengthen existing advertising standards in the gambling industry.

As suggested by Jdigital, the updated measures will apply to television, radio and digital advertising.
Last week, the DGOJ Joint Monitoring Committee stated that the proposed changes focused on three main fields:

  1. the veracity of gambling advertising,
  2. promoting responsible gaming,
  3. protection of minors.

The proposed amendments to the voluntary advertising code will enter into force on January 15, 2020. The changes, when they take effect, will limit the welcome bonuses in advertising to a maximum of 200 euros.

In addition, according to the new rules, gambling advertisements should not have “active athletes” advertising gaming and betting products. People under the age of 25 cannot participate in gambling ads.

Advertising campaigns should not endorse celebrities who participate in child-centered programs or whose work is aimed at ensuring the well-being of minors.

All announcements on all advertising verticals should have a noticeable warning message, which should encourage people to play responsibly. A warning message should also inform the audience that gambling under the age of 18 is prohibited in Spain. In the case of television advertising, the message can either be displayed in the bar at the bottom of the screen and shown throughout the advertisement or displayed as a full-screen warning at the end of the advertisement.

The amended voluntary advertising code will be applied by operators licensed by DGOJ and represented by Jdigital, regardless of the decision of the Spanish government whether to impose a complete ban on all types of gambling advertising.

As expected, the announcement has received mixed reactions: opponents warned that the ban on gambling advertising would provide black market operators with an important weapon in an ongoing battle for customers. It remains to be seen whether the government will indeed introduce a more stringent advertising regime or take into account warnings from industry stakeholders that such a move would only bring more hassle.

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