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Spanish government urged to consider total ban on gambling ads

Spain gambling news

Spain’s gambling industry is on red alert as the threat of a nationwide marketing ban looms.

Francisco Fernández Marugán, the acting Spanish Ombudsman, recently submitted documents to the government that included a recommendation for the total prohibition of gambling advertisements.

The only exceptions to such a ban would be the state-run lotteries, ONCE and SELAE.

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Talk of restrictions to gaming and wagering ads sprung up last October when María Jesús Montero, the finance minister, unveiled plans to prevent media exposure to children, outlaw celebrity endorsements and prohibit sponsorship at sporting events.

Reports claim Marugán will support such a proposal if regulators promise to impose harsher penalties for offending operators, including the potential loss of licences.

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The long-serving socialist representative regards gambling as “a public health issue that requires a regulatory framework with imperative legal norms”.

He also points out that Spanish law does not guarantee any business the right to advertise to the public.

However, there is an obvious discord between the recommendations for gambling firms in the private sector and those run by the state.

SELAE only recently launched a new marketing campaign featuring Julen Lopetegui, the former head coach of the Spain national football team and Real Madrid.

Under Marugán’s proposals, such a ploy would put a privately run online bookmaker at risk of losing its gambling licence.

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