In its bid to reduce the public’s exposure to gambling promotions, the Spanish government has come out with its long-awaited overhaul of gambling advertising regulations.
The government has published the regulations as part of a consultation, explaining that it had acted due to a noticeable increase in gambling advertising. This, it said, had led to growing concerns about the negative consequences of this proliferation.
Possible desensitisation of citizens to the risk of problem gambling and gambling addiction due to the ubiquity of gambling ads could necessitate the need for new rules, it explained.
The government plans on implementing significant restrictions on broadcast advertising, limiting operators to promote their brands via TV and radio between 1:00 AM and 5:00A M. However, exceptions will be made for advertising around live sports broadcasts and real-money contests.
Real-money contests can only be advertised between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM and that too around programming not suitable for those aged 18 or below.
Live sports broadcasts advertising will be allowed for events that start between 8:00 PM and 5:00 AM – these advertisements must not refer to promotions or bonuses, or contain direct enticements to bet, such as “play now” or “bet now”. Also, no information on live odds can be disclosed in these ads.
Operators may still strike sponsorship deals with sports teams, though under strict new conditions. Gambling branding will be banned on youth shirts, while sponsorship of entertainment venues and stadiums will be forbidden, beside in-stadium advertising.
The 18+ age restriction and responsible gambling messaging, must be included throughout visual ads, or as a 2-second audio clip at the end. For radio advertising, the social responsibility messages must be repeated in every other broadcast for an operator.
Operators can no longer use public figures to endorse their products; the ads must also not overstate the chances of winning and cannot promote gambling as a path to financial or social success.
A new cap of €100 for acquisition offers will be introduced for promotions and bonuses. Free-play games may still be offered, but only to players logged into a gambling site – they must use the same random number generator as real games to avoid giving unrealistic expectations about chances of winning.
Advertising on websites will still be permitted, though pop-ups may only be shown to players registered with a gambling operator, which essentially bans site takeovers. Like TV and radio, web advertisements must only appear on sites targeted for adults.
Email ads cannot be sent to the recipients listed on Spain’s self-exclusion database, or to individuals classified as at-risk players. Social media ads are confined to portals that have a filtering solution to avoid targeting minors, while a responsible gambling ad must be shown once for every four ads.
Operators must also develop a thorough corporate social responsibility policy. This must state their strategies to prevent and repair the adverse effects of gambling, as well as their intervention plan when a player suffering from gambling harm is detected – this must be complemented by a helpline for customers, and daily, weekly or monthly limit-setting controls.
Industry stakeholders, citizens and other interested parties can submit their comments until 16 March, while the public consultation is on.
Source – Igaming world