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Huge Implications As Spain Set To Severely Restrict Advertising For Online Betting

21st February, 20:10

Sports betting has been around for decades, but with the advent of the internet, online gambling has long proved popular.

The myriad of options available to potential bettors just keeps growing.

Whether it be accumulators, each-way betting, correct score, cash out, handicap betting etc., there is something for everyone.

If a preferred betting company doesn't have odds for the types of bets that punters prefer, there are more than enough others for them to choose from.

It's little surprise then that this is, and has been, a multi-million pound industry, but maybe things are about to change.

With mental health issues as a hot potato topic at the moment, the 'remember to gamble responsibly' tagline that many online betting houses preface their bets with these days, doesn't appear to be enough.

So much so, that in Spain, where advertising for sports betting has grown to an incredible level in recent years, they are about to introduce what they've described as 'the toughest legislation in the European Union on restricting advertising for online betting houses.'

"A social alarm exists in the country (about betting)," Consumption Minister Alberto Garzon noted. "These measures represent a first step."

Measures that will hit hard on the internet in particular, at sporting events and on TV.

The aim is to stop approximately 80% of the current amount of ads for online betting, with a large portion coming during breaks in high-profile football matches.

Famous sporting stars and those from the world of entertainment will no longer be allowed to appear in betting ads in Spain, and football clubs in the country that are currently sponsored by betting companies will be prohibited from selling children's shirts with their logo on them.

Perhaps most significantly of all is that naming rights for stadiums in Spain will not be able to be used by the same betting companies.

The squeeze doesn't end there either.

Plans are afoot to ensure that TV ads for online betting can only be shown between the hours of 1am and 5am, unless there happens to be a live football game or sporting event on, in which case any ads would be shown after 8pm.

Given that only one or two Spanish football matches kick-off after 8pm each Saturday or Sunday, the far-reaching consequences of such a law are crystal clear.

Furthermore, online games that don't involve real money, with poker as the prime example, will have to incorporate the same algorithm as the version where money is used.

At present, eight of the teams in La Liga, Spain's top football division, are sponsored by gambling houses. They are; Alaves (Betway), Granada (Winamax), Levante UD (Betway), Leganes (Betway), Mallorca (Betfred), Osasuna (Kirolbet), Sevilla (Marathon Bet) and Valencia (Bwin).

Clearly some of the smaller clubs in that list will rely on the revenue that those companies help to bring in, so it remains to be seen just how badly they will be hit in sponsorship terms.

This could be a real game-change globally, if the Spanish government do manage to push this through and make it law in due course.

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