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Spanish government imposes harsh new welcome bonus limits on gambling operators

Spanish gaming regulators are imposing a harsh new set of limitations on gambling operators and some of the common practices they use to entice new customers, including that mainstay of the online gambling business, the welcome bonus. The reforms are part of a larger trend that’s seen gambling operators across Europe being forced to radically alter their traditional marketing strategies in an effort to reduce problem gambling.

Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzón announced the new measures earlier this week and pointed out that using “economic incentives” to keep people gambling was not a viable strategy for operators anymore. By the looks of it, digital operators will not be allowed to use welcome bonuses at all, and land-based gambling operators will be limited to €100 and will be capped at one use, according to a report from SBC News. Earlier this year Spanish authorities seemed willing to cap the welcome bonus at €200, but that apparently didn’t work.

Spanish-facing gambling operators will also be facing new restrictions on when they can advertise their wares. Under the new rules imposed by Ministry of Consumer Affairs, all licensed operators will have their TV and radio advertising limited to a short window between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. as part of the effort to limit problem gambling. (Though it’s probably worth mentioning that the wee small hours of the morning are a time when problem gamblers are probably wide awake.)

Spain is joining a host of other European countries that are limiting the activities of gambling operators in hopes of limiting problem gambling as a whole. That said, our colleagues at point out that Spain already has one of the lowest problem gambling rates in all of Europe.