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How Gambling Ad Rules Influenced Spanish Football

Published on: 12 July 2021
How Gambling Ad Rules Influenced Spanish Football
Spanish football fans love the game

National football associations have initiated a small war against gambling. We can’t find any other words to describe the trend because the same process is taking place in Italy, Spain, and England simultaneously.

Spanish Government is the last one to adopt anti-gambling regulations in summer 2020, but the advertising ban has been delayed until the start of the 2021/22 season. Now, the key question is: How gambling ad rules influence Spanish football?

It’s a tricky question with both casino and finance-related consequences, so let’s take a closer look at it in this article.

What Happened?

Before we get into specifics, we want to explain what really happened in Spain. The Government in Madrid voted on November 2020 and decided to prohibit casino-related advertising in and around football stadiums. The decision will be active from next season on.

There will be no gambling ads on football jerseys anymore, a decision that hits seven football teams in particular. Some of these clubs are Valencia, Seville, and Real Betis.

Besides that, teams will not be able to promote free spins on sign up or any other kind of casino offers around the pitch, on the stands, and similar. No one is going to promote online slots and no first deposit bonuses for domestic gamblers, UK online casino players, and all other users interested in virtual gambling. All in all, the ban will impact 30 out of 42 teams that compete in Primera and Segunda Division.

The Gambling Aspect of the Story

Spanish football clubs will no longer wear shirts with casino names and they won’t be able to promote different online slots. What does it mean for the gambling industry and gamblers in particular?

First of all, a typical gambling platform is now left without a very serious marketing channel. Instead of promoting sportsbooks and gambling directly to the target audience, they now need to redirect messages to alternative communication channels such as social networks and TV commercials.

Secondly, the decision is supposed to be beneficial for the actual gamblers. The whole purpose of the campaign is to make people rethink their gambling habits and prevent personal downfalls. We all know that gambling addicts can experience major losses and ruin family relationships, so the goal is to ban gambling ads and make online casinos less visible on the pitch.

The ban itself probably won’t be sufficient to stop people from gambling, but it will at least “hide” casinos from younger audiences and help them turn to other means of entertainment.

Financial Impact of the Decision

We understand that gambling can be extremely harmful if not approached carefully, but we still need to mention another aspect of gambling ad rules in Spain. Namely, the decision to prohibit casino advertising in football will have a serious financial impact on the league.

With 30 teams having casino- and betting-related sponsors, it is obvious that most of them are going to suffer financially. They will have to adjust to the new situation in 2021/22, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has already devastated entire branches of the Spanish economy.

Here's the thing – football clubs cannot welcome fans because the fear of COVID-19 is still way too big to be neglected. In such circumstances, primary sources of income in football are eliminated. There are no tickets to be sold and there are no merchandise items to be bought by the fans.

This means that every sponsorship in football is vital these days, so the latest anti-gambling rules will only make the situation worse for Spanish teams. For instance, Real Betis earns $10 million from casino companies and they can hardly find an alternative sponsorship as lucrative as that.

Other teams also have generous offers from gambling-related sponsors, but they aren’t allowed to accept any. This leaves Spanish football financially vulnerable, which will have huge consequences on many different levels – from business operations and player transfers all the way to salaries and clubs’ domestic and international results.

Football match
Football match

The Bottom Line

Casino advertising is going sky-high these days and it is clearly visible through football jersey ads and TV commercials. However, the time has come for national football associations – including Spain’s La Liga – to react and put a ban on gambling ads.

The ban has two highly practical consequences in terms of marketing and finance, so it’s difficult to make a final conclusion and decide whether it is a good decision. The only thing that matters is that online casinos are still out there and that you can spin a round of roulette or slots online and offline.


Leslie Alexander is a football analyst and a content lead at Gamblizard. She is mostly blogging about football betting, video gaming, casino gambling, and sports in general. Apart from writing excellent blog posts, Leslie loves reading and long-distance running.

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