Consumer Minister Alberto Garzón made official this Tuesday what was an open secret, the entry into force of the new regulation of gambling in Spain. The new regulation prohibits the advertising of gambling and betting, in daytime hours, limiting it to a restricted band between midnight and the early morning of the next day. In addition, the regulation will also affect advertising on sports teams, whether explicit or implicit on T-shirts or other merchandising, and the "prizes" or welcome bonuses offered to attract new customers.
The measure is intended to combat the growing trend of online gambling, so that it conforms to the responsible gambling standards set by the government. However, this decree has not been without controversy.
On the one hand the regulation excludes the national lottery organizations ONCE and SELAE (Loterias y apuestas del estado) from complying with it. This has outraged the gaming portals, as they consider unfair competition between public and private companies.
Another of the controversies occurs in the sports field, where it has been granted to sports clubs with current contracts with gaming companies to conclude the current year and schedule their compliance with the regulations from July 2021. "We are in favor of improving regulation, and we will abide by the rules as the government dictates, but the new regulation must be applied equally to all," demands a CEOE spokesman representing the private sector, which feels harmed. Online gambling houses and casinos feel seriously harmed given the difference in treatment between them and ONCE and SELAE in three main points:
- SELAE and ONCE have no time limitation for their advertising
- They are not subject to claims or penalties from "Autocontrol"
- They do not show clearly and legibly the responsible gaming messages required in this area
In addition to these clear limitations imposed on the private gaming company and yet imperceptible in the public company, the CEOE insists on other aspects that border on the regulation without any consequences by encouraging compulsive gambling with slogans such as the Millionaire's Scratcher: "You play, and suddenly …", promoting the culture of having and distorting values such as effort, work or study, and especially promoting gambling to young people or even teenagers appealing to that with little money you can bet.
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