Spain’s La Liga Facing Heavy Gambling Sponsorship Restrictions

Spain’s La Liga Facing Heavy Gambling Sponsorship Restrictions

Shirt sponsorship ban and minimal advertising

The La Liga soccer clubs in Spain are facing major gambling sponsorship restrictions if plans submitted by the country’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs earn approval. Alberto Garzón, head of the government department, is calling for a ban on betting companies as team shirt sponsors. The proposal also restricts gambling advertising on television, radio, and other media to the early morning hours.

The Commission is expected to approve the proposal.

The Ministry sent the proposal to the European Commission today for review with the goal to reinforce temporary restrictions put in place back in February. The Commission is expected to approve the proposal.

Gambling sponsorship restrictions

Known as the Royal Decree on Commercial Communications of Gambling Activities, the draft strengthens a temporary shirt sponsorship ban and other gambling advertising restrictions. If the Commission approves the proposal, it becomes law.

The proposal extends the prohibition of using a betting operator trade name or name brand to identify a sports facility or entertainment facility. Essentially, betting companies will no longer be able to showcase their brand on La Liga club soccer shirts by next season.

This decision impacts the top flight as all but three of its clubs have deals with gambling firms. Right now, Mallorca, Levante, Valencia, Granada, Seville, Osasuna, Leganés, and Alavés have betting brand logos on their team shirts.

Additional restrictions

In addition to banning shirt sponsorships, the Royal Decree puts the clamps down on gambling in a number of other ways, including forbidding bettting companies from sponsoring stadium names.

On top of that, the proposal limits gambling advertising via media outlets to just one hour per day and that hour must fall between 1am and 5am.

Effectively, companies will not be allowed to attract brand new gamblers with bonuses.

The Royal Decree also covers welcome offers for new customers of betting companies. Officials seek to place a ceiling of €100 (US$113) on such bonus offers and plan to restrict welcome deals to just those individuals who have had an open betting account for one month or more. Effectively, companies will not be allowed to attract brand new gamblers with bonuses.

Customers must also present verification documents and have deposited three times to be eligible for welcome offers.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs said the new laws were created to address the concern of increased gambling in young people.

State of Emergency rules

The proposal comes just one month after Spain introduced State of Emergency rules for the soccer league. On March 31, a short-term ban of gambling advertisements on television and team shirts took effect.

The rules forced eight La Liga teams to rework their jersey sponsorships as the season restarted. Teams could choose to block out the logos or remove them entirely

The state of Emergency rules were only supposed to run through June 21. Garzón sent the new proposal to the European Commission to see the changes become permanent.

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