Spanish football clubs and licensed bookmakers have been given a light reprieve, as Spain’s Consumer Affairs Ministry confirms that existing betting sponsorships will be allowed to continue until the end of the season.
The order is reported to have been signed-off by Alberto Garzon, Spain’s Consumer Affairs Minister, who has been charged with spearheading the federal reform of Spanish gambling laws.
The proposal will be welcomed by Spanish football clubs, who had raised concerns to the government and regional councils of the impact of an immediate ban on betting sponsorships, with La Liga and lower divisions returning back to actions.
La Liga president Javier Tebas had warned against drastic actions being taken by the government in which restrictions would lose La Liga clubs around €90 million in sponsorship revenues.
October saw the enforcement of Spain’s ‘Royal Decree on Advertising’, imposing federal restrictions on gambling advertising across all media channels – with TV adverts restricted to a 1-to-5 am timeslot across all provinces.
In prior communications with the media and football authorities, Garzon and DGOJ Director-General Mikel Arana guaranteed that Spanish football would be allowed a ‘grace period’ to fulfil existing contracts but warned clubs that it would be a short transition.
Ahead of the La Liga 2020-2021 season, Garzon reprimanded La Liga governance for allowing ’11 clubs to line-up with betting sponsors on the front of their shirts’.
Signing-off on the transition period, Garzon maintained that no Spanish football club could enter an agreement with a bookmaker during the period.
Having implemented Spain’s Royal Decree on Advertising and new sponsorship laws, Garzon and the Consumer Affairs Ministry will begin ‘stage 2’ of Spanish gambling reforms in which the government seeks to launch federal self-exclusion registry covering all of Spain’s autonomous communities.