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INSIGHT GAMBLING ADVERTISING


was in full control of the groups’ participation.


Negative coverage in the press especially when it comes to advertising will continue to fuel the debate for harsher measures. Meanwhile momentum for wide sweeping changes is growing. In January Sports Minister Nigel Adams told the BBC that football has "far too much dependency" on sponsorship from gambling companies. "We're going to be reviewing the current Gambling Act and I'm sure the link between sports - football in particular - will form a part of that," he said. Consequently it seems that industry measures may well not be enough to alleviate government concern.


Spain is driving through change


Changes to gambling advertising rules in Spain look very likely and this too is taking part in a much wider context of negative press coverage. However unlike the UK a distinct political shift means that a far more restrictive ban could well lie ahead. In April the Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) reiterated its commitment to restrict gambling advertising and online gambling as part of the party’s manifesto for the upcoming election.


The socialist bloc included the measure signed by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez


who came to power in June 2018. The prime minister is under increasing pressure to change advertising rules when it comes to gambling from left-wing electoral alliance the Podemos Unidos Party, which has been pushing for reform.


In the agreement on the General State Budgets for 2019 - signed by Pedro Sánchez, and the Secretary General of Unidos Podemos Pablo Iglesias in April - it was agreed to approve a regulation of online gambling and betting advertising on a state level similar to that of tobacco products. The advertising of all tobacco products have been prohibited since 2005 in Spain.


In the agreement, the Executive Power and Unidos Podemos warned that "in recent years online game modes have proliferated that are using very aggressive advertising formulas linked to the image of famous people, usually successful athletes, or free access bonuses.”


They also warned that "it is increasingly common that the broadcasts of football or basketball sports are flooded with ads that offer live betting, making this activity very accessible to all types of people, including minors, generating serious problems of gambling addiction."


In January Sánchez won a parliamentary


majority to form a left-wing coalition government ending almost a year of political gridlock. The coalition government is made up of the radical left Unidas Podemos (United We Can) – which is itself an alliance of Podemos, United Left and other left-wing parties. It is the first time since the 1930’s that an overtly left-wing party or electoral alliance is in government in Spain. All of the parties are agreed that restrictions on advertising are necessary. In its December document outlining the agreement the newly formed alliance reiterated its belief that rules needed to be changed so that they are similar to rules covering tobacco advertising.


Cchange to advertising rules have been on the horizon for some time and are part of a growing anti-gaming mood. The Spanish government drafted a decree on advertising back in 2015 and then another at the end of 2017, but never approved them. Pressure has also been coming from other groups. In October 2017, The Audiovisual Council of Andalusia (CAA) called for new laws in Spain, which would regulate the advertising of gambling in order to protect minors, safeguard the rights of vulnerable groups of people and help to preventing gambling addiction. Additional pressure to change advertising rules has come from consumer organization The Federation of Consumers in Action (FACUA).


P46 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


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