Gambling ads in focus in Italy and Spain

Gambling ads in focus in Italy and Spain

By IAGR Media

Following the discussion at IAGR2018 Copenhagen in the session Advertising Ban, does that do the trick? gambling advertising remains in the spotlight early in 2019, with developments in Italy and Spain highlighting different jurisdictional approaches to regulation.

Here’s a look at what’s been announced in both jurisdictions…

Serie A football lobbies delay for phasing out gambling sponsorship deals

In early January this year Serie A – the country’s premier football league – successfully lobbying government communications agency AGCOM to delay the ban on gambling sponsorship in sport.

The ban is part of the Italian Government’s ‘Dignity Decree’, passed in July last year which included measures to combat ‘pathological gambling’. All forms of gambling advertising were banned immediately, and sponsorships were to be phased out by 1 January 2019.

According to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), gambling agencies inject about €120 million into Italian sports through sponsorships.

With a big portion its clubs’ revenue under threat, Serie A lobbied AGCOM, claiming that the Dignity Decree did not provide enough clarity around sporting sponsorships. AGCOM agreed and issued a statement delaying the ban until July.

IAGR’s President Trude Felde said, 'I look forward to seeing how betting agencies, sports clubs and the Government can come to an agreement that is in line with the intentions of the Dignity Decree while leaving some room for the gambling industry to support professional sporting clubs.'

Online gambling ads to be regulated in Spain

Across the Mediterranean, Spain’s Minister of Treasury María Jesús Montero has indicated that new regulations for online advertising for gambling and sports betting could come into effect before June.

Known as the Decree on Online Gambling Advertising, the proposal will be discussed in the first six months of 2019, with the intention of coming into effect before June 30.

Juan Espinosa García, head of the Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling, supported the proposal in December, telling Yogonet: 'Gambling advertising is the link between the industry and society, so the future of this activity relies heavily upon its success.

'Regulations should a have a global scope, meaning all aspects involved should be dealt with, from the advertisements’ content to their implementation.'

Trude added, 'According to Spain’s regulator, online gambling revenue hit nearly €700 million in 20181 and if the growth continues the market will soon be worth over a billion annually.

'Jurisdictional approaches to gambling advertising vary greatly from prohibition through to lighter regulation. Sometimes industry competition is so fierce it can create inertia around effective self-regulation where industry participants fear losing market share and governments decide to intervene when satisfied it is in the public interest.'

Australian research sheds light on the impact of gambling advertising

Recent Australian research, funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, highlights the impact of wagering advertisements and inducements on sports betting and race betting behaviour.

The study found that advertisements with most influence were:

  • direct messages from wagering operators
  • advertisements on betting websites and apps
  • betting brands promoted during live and broadcast sports and racing events
  • commentary promoting betting during events.

The study also found that when bets were accompanied by an inducement, bettors tended to choose riskier bets (with longer odds) compared to when no inducement was offered.

Lead researcher Professor Nerilee Hing from CQUniversity said, 'This study provides new information for regulators who are seeking to minimise gambling-related harm.

'Italy’s ban on gambling sponsorship in sport will help to limit youth exposure to gambling advertising, its normalisation and the ‘gamblification’ of sport.'

Nerilee added, 'The new regulations in Spain are also likely to reduce the amount of gambling advertising that bettors see, which our research shows triggers increased betting expenditure, and spending more on betting than intended, including amongst at-risk and problem gamblers.'

Read the full research report

[1] Source: https://www.ordenacionjuego.es/en/informes-trimestrales

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