Spain bans gambling shirt sponsorships

Gambling companies will no longer be permitted to appear as front-of-shirt sponsors for La Liga clubs next season, according to a report in El Pais.

Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzón has proposed a series of new draconian measures which will toughen up regulations on betting companies, including restrictions to sponsorship agreements and advertising exposure.

Currently, eight clubs in La Liga feature a gambling company as a main shirt sponsor – Valencia, Alavés, Leganés, Granada, Mallorca, Sevilla, Osasuna and Levante.

The ban follows the approval of laws as part of Spain’s ‘Royal Decree on Advertising’ which currently permits a four-hour advertising window for betting companies, but does not authorise any exposure out of the timeframe.

In addition to the ban on shirt sponsorships, the new decree will prevent gambling companies from being allowed to sponsor stadium names nor any other aspect associated with the teams.

Garzón had altered the wording of the ruling to state that “sponsorship in sports T-shirts or equipment will not be admissible”, with gambling companies already banned from featuring on youth shirts.

The ban on using celebrity endorsements in betting adverts will also remain, however the inclusion of betting advertising on pitch perimeters ‘will depend on the regulation of each autonomous community’.

Garzón anticipates that the bill will be in place for the start of the 2020/21 La Liga season, providing it gains the necessary approval in Brussels.

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