The Spanish Minister for Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, said that sports betting advertising is ‘more dangerous than state lotteries’, as the product ‘doesn’t generate the same levels of consumerism’.

In an interview with El Transistor of Onda Cero, Garzón talked about the decision to ban sports betting advertising but allow state lotteries to keep carrying out their advertising campaigns, such as the one from the Christmas draw, which brings money to the government.

The Minister assured that they define which products are ‘more dangerous’ and said: “A new game of chance a year doesn’t generate the same levels of consumerism as betting, which allows people to get money instantly.”

Garzón failed to address SELAE’s recently signed sponsorships with sports entities, such as the one with La Liga, despite the fact that the Royal Decree aims to end associations between sports and gambling.

The Consumer Affairs authority also didn’t address the warnings from the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA), which had urged the Government to review the regulations since they’re ‘potentially in conflict with EU state aid rules’ and they’re ‘discriminatory towards private companies’.

In 2019, the state-run lottery operator ONCE was the 11th biggest single spender on Spanish advertisements. The firm invested around €49m in advertisement, equating to more than a third of the gambling sector’s total figure, according to the sixth edition of the ‘Advertising Observatory in Spain 2020’.

EGBA, in its request to the government, said that ‘state lotteries are by far the country’s biggest gambling advertisers’, accounting ‘for at least 34% of the gambling advertising spend’.

Despite all statistics showing that the state is the main spender and has more exposure, Garzón said that they must change how private gambling companies advertise since ‘there is a social alarm’ and that ‘serious problems usually start there’.