Press Room

4 November, 2020

Finally, the Royal Decree on Commercial Communications, which final text we analyze below, has been approved and published in the Official Gazette (BOE):

  1. Sponsorship on premises, sports teams or competitions, t-shirts or sports equipment is prohibited. Sponsorship is possible outside the frame of the prohibitions. The existing sponsorship agreements can be in force until 31 August 2020.
  1. Any kind of promotion for the acquisition of new customers is forbidden, including the “welcome bonus”.
  2. Promotion targeted at existing customers is allowed (loyalty bonus) provided that the following two requirements are met: (i) the client has a 30 days old opened account, and (ii) has been verified by documentary evidence.
  3. Free games can only be offered to registered clients.
  4. The use of famous persons, whether real or factionary, is prohibited. However, for the existing publicity contracts in this regard, these comercial communications will be possible until the 1 April 2021.
  5. The broadcasting of commercial communications through audiovisual media and during live sport events is limited to 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Likewise, commercial communications of any kind, broadcasted or posted, which are captured by an audiovisual broadcast shall be subject to the same time restriction.
  6. The commercial communications through face-to-face means must comply not only with the Advertising Royal Decree and the national regulations, but also with the regulations regarding gaming advertising imposed by each Autonomous Region. Likewise communications made for a certain sports sponsorship within sports facilities or published in magazines, newspapers or similar media specialized on gambling on a national level, will not be obliged to comply with the regional regulations on advertising, but only the national ones.
  7. Operators are prohibited from using trademarks or trade names which they do not own. It is worth mentioning that operators have a transition period of 6 months from the entry into force of the Advertising Royal Decree to comply with this obligation.
  8. Commercial communications made through digital services, will be permitted when:
  • Ads included on websites with “.es” domain from authorized operators and on their mobile applications.
  • Ads on webpages or apps which main activity is the offer of products and information relating to gambling provided that they have mechanisms to prevent access by minors and to broadcast messages about safe play;
  • Ads on webpages or apps which main activity is to offer information on sports or horse racing using a specific section.
  • Those resulting from search results. If those are from SEM actions, the key words used must be directly related to gambling;
  • Those sent by e-mail or other equivalent means;
  • Those broadcasted as audiovisual commercial communications on video exchange platforms. With the following restrictions: (i) they must have mechanisms to prevent commercial communications being addressed to minors (ii) they must have mechanisms for hiding or blocking pop-up ads from their users; (iii) they must have mechanisms for controlling time slots and;
  • Those broadcasted as audiovisual commercial communications on social networks. With the following restrictions: (i) they must have mechanisms to prevent commercial communications being addressed to minors; (ii) they must have mechanisms to hide or block pop-up advertisements from their users; (iii) they must have mechanisms to segment the target audience and be addressed only to persons who follow the channel of an operator, persons who have shown and interest or persons registered with an operator.

10. Advertising agreements with tipsters are possible. There cannot be famous persons.

11. The Royal Decree enters in force on the following day from its publication, 5 November, however, there are many exceptions in this regard and many provisions which enter into force later. We are analysing those in detail and will inform shortly.

It is undoubtedly an excessively restrictive framework and we hope that its application and interpretation by the DGOJ will be a little more flexible in doubtful cases.

At ECIJA we have prepared a list of queries to be processed with the DGOJ since the reality of this sector is very vivid and we see a variety of situations that require an interpretation by the DGOJ. It is necessary to clearly define the framework of what is allowed. The penalties applicable to this sector are very high, disproportionate in some cases, and therefore, before the criteria and precedents are well established, we recommend that the operators verify well any advertising action.


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