Spain’s ombudsman Francisco Fernandez Marugan wants the government to implement a total ban on gambling ads. However, he excludes the state-run lottery from the ban.
Last October, the Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero announced plans to limit gambling ads in the country. She said that the ads should be treated the same way as tobacco ads. Her plan will not allow gambling ads to air when minors might be listening or watching. Also, the government wants to ban gambling firms from signing celebrity endorsers.
The acting ombudsman said the proposed plan is reasonable if his call for a total ban on gambling ads doesn’t get the approval. In addition, he wants to revoke the gambling license of firms that break the gambling ads ban.
Total Ban on Gambling Ads
Marugan told bookie pay per head news sites that gambling is a public health issue. The government should consider a regulatory framework to address it. In addition, he said that self-regulation is ineffective. However, he seemed oblivious to the fact that it is the state lottery that’s not following the rules. Yet, he wants to exempt it from the ban.
For instance, private gambling firms can’t use popular people in their marketing campaigns. However, the state-run SELAE recently launched a campaign featuring former football star Julen Lopetegui.
Another example of the government’s hypocrisy on its gambling policies is when a 15-year old won the 200,000 euros jackpot from the El Nino lottery. It made headlines because it is illegal for people below 18 years old to play the lottery.
Regional broadcasters have already rejected gambling ads to protect and safeguard the vulnerable. The ombudsman wants a total ban on gambling ads but exempts the lottery from the rule. A bookie pay per head directory said that a total ban should include everyone, including the state-run lottery.