Over the past several years, efforts to better regulate and control the online gambling market have intensified across the globe. This is especially true for many European countries that have changed their laws and introduced many new stipulations to put the iGaming industry as a whole under much closer control.
The United Kingdom is probably one of the leading examples of this, with a vast number of changes to gambling in laws in general in the recent past. They aren’t the only one, however. Spain has been on the path of regulating the online gambling sector as well and these efforts have recently resulted in a brand new set of restrictions applied to online gambling ads.
Changes to Affect up to 80% of Existing Ads
These new changes that have been imposed by the minister of consumer affairs Alberto Garzón will seemingly have far-reaching consequences as they’ll likely affect as much as 80% of currently existing online gambling adverts. Naturally, the main players in the industry weren’t happy to hear the news but it’s just something they’re going to have to deal with.
These new restrictions cover a number of different areas. One of them concerns the time slot during which ads will be allowed on TV and radio. Namely, the companies will only be able to advertise between 1 AM and 5 AM, which is far from the prime time. The only exception to this will be advertising during sporting events but it will only apply after 8 PM.
Furthermore, the language of the ads can no longer contain any persuasive language and the companies aren’t allowed to place their ads in any place where there is a likelihood of minors seeing them. One of the big restrictions that will come from this is that soccer clubs will no longer be allowed to sell jerseys to children if they contain any kind of branding from a gambling company.
Treating Gambling as a Serious Issue
While Mr. Garzón’s latest reform isn’t welcomed by everyone, he is a firm believer that the gambling industry and everything that comes with it must be treated with the utmost seriousness. As he explained, this is an industry that has a major impact on public health, just like the tobacco industry, and needs to be treated and regulated in a similar manner.
Interestingly enough, gambling in general doesn’t seem to be a huge issue in Spain. Unlike some other European countries that have to deal with various problems resulting from gambling, Spain’s gambling rate is among the lowest on the continent, standing at just 0.4%.
So, these efforts seem to be more of a preemptive move by the government to make sure things won’t get out of hands in the future. And, even if some may regard it as excessive, this decision hardly comes as a surprise given the current climate with regards to gambling regulations.
Fast Growth Must Be Accompanied by More Protections
In the past decade or so, the gambling industry has experienced a huge growth, especially thanks to the online segment. Sports betting and casino gambling are more available than ever and everyone can gain access to a gambling platform from their phone within a matter of seconds.
In this kind of the environment, it is very important for good protective measures to be put in place. This is especially true for the issue of underage gambling as children are especially susceptible to these influences and the government sees it as its duty to protect this particular segment of the population the most.
So, recent developments in countries like the UK and Spain are probably just indicators of things to come in the future across Europe. Days when gambling companies could have gotten away with pretty much anything in their ads are slowly becoming a part of history as regulators are starting to pay close attention to what’s going on.
So, those that want to survive and thrive going forward will need to adjust to this new situation and restructure their business models so that they continue within new regulations. This is probably a good thing overall because reputable companies will find the way to do it right while those shady operators that shouldn’t be in the business in the first place will finally be forced out.