Spain bans poker advertising over coronavirus

Posted on: April 07, 2020 12:35 PDT

The country wants to make sure poker operators don’t try to take advantage of stay-at-home orders

The global coronavirus pandemic has come with a severe impact on many industries around the world, especially in Europe, which has been dealing with thousands of new daily cases and hospitals that simply don't suffice to cover the current demands. Besides Italy, Spain has been one of the most impacted countries in Europe due to COVID-19, and, amid the current public health emergency, sweeping new laws have been introduced. Gambling has been a very regulated activity in the country and, facing this world pandemic phase, Spain authorities are placing a ban on gambling companies advertising, except during announced hours.

This new bill was described as a "de facto gambling advertising ban" by country operators. It was implemented recently and finally got its Royal Decree this past week, turning it into law. The new law became effective last Thursday. According to Spain's Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, this rule could be seen as "the strictest in the EU," turning at least 80% of current gambling advertisement illegal. This measure affects several online poker site operators and it is part of the "consumer protection measures" that will be taking place along with the novel coronavirus crisis.

According to an email sent by an online gambling operator to its affiliates, the sites need to remove any advertising targeting Spanish customers. Things like current promotions, all banners and upcoming news articles in which a gambling site is mentioned. Article 37 of this new legislation is clear in banning al gambling advertising that mentions anything related to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as promotions that target new players with bonuses or economic valuable gifts. All advertising including emails and social media interaction is also restricted, only between 01:00 and 05:00 am. "Failure to comply with these measures will be considered a ‘grave infraction’ of Spain’s current Gambling Act," explained