Advertising for betting and gambling has been restricted in Spain since Tuesday, when several measures included in the Royal Decree on the commercial communication of gambling activities entered into force.
Henceforth, betting advertisements can only be broadcast in the wee hours of the morning, from 1h00 to 5h00., which means that football matches will not include such advertising.
With the new regulations, companies will only be able to send their offers to registered and verified customers and, in any case, to people who have demonstrated pathological behavior in the game.
Internet advertising is limited to the websites of gambling companies. However, welcome bonuses or promotions to attract new customers are prohibited.
On social networks, advertising messages can be sent to their subscribers, and on YouTube, advertising is only available at the same time as on the rest of the advertising media.
Among other measures, sports clubs cannot sign sponsorship contracts with betting shops which involve advertising on games of chance on shirts and kits, they will not be able either hire celebrities for their advertisements.
The decree also stipulates that advertising for betting in sports stadiums, when they host events broadcast live, must follow the same schedules as with other media.
Clubs will also not be allowed to conduct sponsorship activities that involve using an operator’s mark to identify a sports facility.
In addition, for better protection of minors, parental control is included through mechanisms that identify the game category in online advertising.
Whether in search engines, social networks or video sharing platforms, operators must have instruments to ensure that their advertising never targets minors and that there are mechanisms to block or hide advertisements.
Advertisement cannot be shown in places visited by minors, like cinemas; nor can they be displayed in content aimed at children on video platforms.
The players are getting younger and younger. According to the Spanish Federation of Rehabilitated Players (FEJAR), “the average patient profile we had was a 40-45 year old male slot machine player, but today the medium profile is still a man between 25-26 years, one online or sports betting player “.
Many experts have raised their voices in recent years to warn of the dangers of gambling in all its forms for society and individuals, especially young people.
According to the secretary of the Spanish Group of Evangelical Psychologists, José María Carayol, “betting fever permeates a society increasingly immersed in the virtual world and the sensations it offers. Society is not fully aware of the danger of gambling and everything related to it ”.
“The visibility, accessibility and availability of online games, in particular platforms related to football betting, which are increasingly developing in our society, are create new ways of dealing with stress and life issues”, Explained Carayol in an interview with the Spanish news site Protestant digital.
The evangelical psychologist warned that “very often these bets become an emotional pain reliever that distracts us from our own reality, and little by little, if it is not mastered, it becomes addictive”.
Two years ago, Barcelona city hall had already banned the opening of new gambling venues in the city., in order to “preserve the health of citizens and avoid addictions”.
They also banned the access to online gaming pages from town halls, including a clause in its contracts that obliges companies to have measures to fight against gambling addictions.
In addition, betting shops are no longer able to advertise their products and services on Barcelona public transport.
Earlier this year, the UK government opened a public consultation to collect evidence on different gambling-related topics, in order to decide whether they should revise the Gambling Act 2005, which allows all betting companies to ” advertise all forms of gambling in any media like any other. product.
In response to this consultation, British evangelicals have launched a campaign, “urging Christians to explain the damage this gambling, and marketing related to gambling, has on communities across Britain ”.
According to the campaigners, “the church has a role to play on moral issues that affect our society and by stopping the advertising of gambling in sport we can help protect vulnerable people and stop the normalization of gambling in sport ”.
“Gambling must be regulated in a way that protects the young and the most vulnerable, and by taking a strict approach to the marketing and advertising practices of gambling companies, the government can show it is serious about it, ”said Danny Webster, Evangelical Alliance Advocacy Officer at UK.
Posted in: Evangelical focus – europe
– No football shirts, no social networks, no celebrities: Spain restricts betting advertising