New Coronavirus Law Bans Poker Being Advertised in Spain

Yesterday saw sweeping new laws introduced in Spain that will restrict gambling advertising during the COVID-19 outbreak, with adverts only allowed between 1am and 5am among the measures taken.

By: Andrew Burnett


Described as a ‘de facto gambling advertising ban’ by operators in the country, the bill introduced several weeks ago was given Royal Decree this week, and is effective as of yesterday.

Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, has described the new rules as “the strictest in the EU”, which will see 80% of current advertising rendered illegal.

The “consumer protection measures” will likely last for the duration of the novel coronavirus crisis and will affect operators such as PokerStars.

In an email sent to affiliates, Stars Group listed what should be removed from their sites aimed at Spanish customers, including;

  • All current promotions
  • Banners
  • Upcoming news articles featuring PokerStars

Article 37 of the new law details what isn’t permitted for the foreseeable future.

  • Gambling advertising referring to the Covid-19 crisis
  • Promos aimed at attracting new customers which rely on bonuses, discounts, prizes, or other gifts of economic value.
  • The same rules apply to loyalty rewards for existing customers.
  • Online advertising, including individual email and social media messages.

Gaming operators will be allowed to advertise on broadcast media and video platforms, but only between 01:00 and 05:00 am.

As the gamingnspain.com website explains, ‘Failure to comply with these measures will be considered a “grave infraction” of Spain’s current Gambling Act'.

The crackdown has actually been met with some relief by the industry, who had envisaged an even worse scenario, although it was still described as a “serious blow to a sector that is already suffering from the effects of the coronavirus crisis” by one trade association.

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