The Ministry of Consumer Affairs of Spain is set to implement new restrictions on gambling advertising, leading to a near-complete ban on advertising.
Under the restrictions, gambling advertising would be allowed only at night between 1.00-5.00 am and there would be a total ban on gambling sponsorship of sports jerseys, kits and stadiums. But the biggest gambling companies and advertisers, the country’s state-run lottery companies, ONCE and SELAE, will be exempted from the measures.
EGBA considers the decision to grant the state-run lotteries an exemption from the restrictions to be discriminatory towards private companies and, by allowing the state-run lotteries advertising privileges, could potentially be in conflict with EU state aid rules.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of EGBA said: “We urge the Spanish government to reconsider its advertising restrictions because there is a lack of data to support the measures and the granting of advertising privileges to state-run companies over private ones could potentially be in conflict with EU state aid rules. The restrictions clearly discriminate against private companies and favour the economic interests of the state-run lotteries, who are by far the country’s leading advertisers in the gambling sector. And while EGBA fully supports responsible advertising, the scope and type of restrictions proposed are not justified by the evidence available, including the country’s relatively low problem gambling rate and the significantly lower public awareness towards gambling advertising compared to other major advertising sectors.”