Get exclusive CAP network offers from top brands

View CAP Offers

Spanish regulates lift COVID-19 gambling ad limits

When the world went into quarantine during the spring of 2020, one of the big concerns for European governments was the impact lockdown would have on their citizen with gambling problems. Would chronic gamblers lose their minds and shirts while stuck at home? Would gambling operators see them as easy prey?

Most European governments weren’t especially interested in finding out the answers to these questions so they clamped down on operators and their marketing and advertising practices. In France poker operators were asked to cut back on bonuses and in the UK, operators voluntarily cut their ad buys.

In Spain, all gambling advertising was restricted to a very narrow window between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. with a few exceptions for live sporting events (which were few and far between). Ad creators were also required to not appeal to any sense of boredom that the quarantined masses were experiencing. With the exception of the boredom issue, these rules were the same ones the government had planned on implementing anyways.

But now that the citizens of the world are crawling out of quarantine and attempting to get on with “normal” life, some of those restrictions on operators are being lifted. Earlier this week, the Spanish government announced that it would be lifting some of those COVID lockdown restrictions. But operators who were hoping to blanket the airways with bonus offers and free bets will be sorely disappointed.

The only difference between the old rules and the new ones are that, presumably, allowed to appeal to a sense of boredom. All the restrictions on time limits remain in place.

It remains to be seen whether or not Europe’s attempts at protecting problem gamblers paid off, but there’s no question that the advertising market for Euro gambling operators has changed dramatically.