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Spain approves online Gambling advertising and sponsorship limits

On November 3rd, the council of ministers in Spain approved the enforcement of a Royal Decree on the advertising of Gambling activities.

14 Dec 2020 AUTHOR: Shenaly Amin

The regulations aim to safeguard various public interests by preventing addictive behaviours, protecting minors and other especially vulnerable groups and consumers in general. On November 3rd, the council of ministers in Spain approved the enforcement of a Royal Decree on the advertising of Gambling activities

The new restrictions:

1.Sponsorship of sports teams, competitions or venues, or on shirts or other sports equipment is prohibited. Sponsorship is possible outside the frame of these prohibitions. The existing sponsorship agreements can remain in force until 31 August 2021.

2.Any kind of promotion for the acquisition of new customers is prohibited. This includes the “welcome bonus.”

3. Promotions targeted at existing customers (loyalty bonus) is allowed, provided that the following two requirements are met: (i) the client has an account that is at least 30 days old, and (ii) the identity of the customer has been verified by documentary evidence.

4. Free games can only be offered to registered customers.

5. The use of famous persons, whether real or fictionary, in advertising is prohibited. However, for existing publicity contracts in this regard, these comercial communications will be possible until 1 April 2021.

6. The broadcasting of commercial communications through audiovisual media and during live sport events is limited to the 1AM – 5AM timeslot. Likewise, commercial communications of any kind, broadcasted or posted, which are captured by an audiovisual broadcast shall be subject to the same time restriction.

7. Commercial communications through physical means (billboards, etc.) must not only comply with the Advertising Royal Decree and the national regulations, but also with the regulations regarding gaming advertising imposed by each Autonomous Region. However, communications within sports facilities or published in magazines, newspapers or similar media that are part of a wider national sponsorship agreement, will not be obliged to comply with the regional regulations on advertising, but only the national ones.

8. Operators are prohibited from using trademarks or trade names in their commercial communications which they do not own themselves. It is worth mentioning that operators have a transition period of six months from the entry into force of the Advertising Royal Decree to comply with this obligation.

Operators who fail to abide by the new rules could face financial penalties starting at €100k and ranging up to €1m, along with possible suspension of their license for up to six months.