Spain’s 2019 budget seeks to implement tough betting advertising code

Spanish news sources report that the upcoming 2019 budget will likely carry severe advertising restrictions for licensed gambling/betting incumbents, as the PSOE minority government seeks to revamp Spain’s advertising code.

Last week, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (PSOE – Socialist Workers Party) struck a budget proposal deal with socialist Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias.

Branded as Spain’s ‘socially progressive budget’, PSOE moves towards its first legislative victory since taking leadership of Spain’s government last June, following the resignation of Partido Popular’s Mariano Rajoy attached to multiple corruption charges.

Striking a budget agreement with Podemos, Sanchez and the minority PSOE seek to stave off opposition calls for a snap general election in 2019.

The agreed budget is reported to have a mandate seeking to restrict/limit the advertising of ‘predatory industries’ (betting, pay-day loans, credit lending) targeting Spanish consumers, a governance directive pursued by Podemos since 2015.

All Spanish news sources report that PSOE and Podemos will seek to toughen Spain’s advertising standards with regards to betting advertising/marketing practices. However, it remains unclear what exact restrictions the government will choose to implement.

Spanish regulator DGOJ is currently undertaking its third licensing window, which is due to close on 17 December 2018, expanding Spain’s online gambling marketplace. Newspaper El Pais reports that PSOE will treat ‘betting like tobacco’, implementing tougher restrictions aimed at protecting minors and vulnerable consumers.

Meanwhile, elDiario.es details that PSOE and Podemos, will move to significantly reduce betting related adverts aired during TV sports broadcasts, and throughout Radio verticals.

Furthermore, a new advertising code would ban Spanish licensed operators from utilising celebrities or athletes to promote gambling products/services.

The 2019 budget agreement will have caught the eye of Spanish football clubs, who have previously been criticised by Pablo Iglesias and Podemos for their ‘indifference to betting advertising and sponsorships’.

PSOE will present its budget to the EU on 15 October, seeking to gain approval on its spending plans and fiscal policies. The budget will then be forwarded to Spain’s Congress for final voting, in which PSOE and Podemos require 176 votes for its approval.