Basque Public Broadcaster EITB Bans Gambling Adverts

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 | Written by April Bergman
Basque Public Broadcaster EITB Bans Gambling Adverts

The Basque public broadcaster Euskal Irrati Telebista (EITB) banned gambling-related advertisements. EITB is the second Spanish broadcaster to ban such ads, which is a growing trend in Europe. TeleMadrid earlier ended gaming adverts.

Regulators in Italy, Albania, and Georgia each have banned gambling ads, while officials in Germany and Ireland have talked about doing the same.

That wave of legislation culminated in Spanish broadcaster EITB, which recently announced that it will not broadcast gambling-related advertisements on any of their media outlets including TV, radio, and digital platforms.

EITB’s board issued a statement explaining the decision to ban advertisements were a “necessary enforcement”, ensuring they were “protecting and safeguarding the right of the most vulnerable against the serious problems of addiction that gambling, and betting can create.”

ONCE and Static Ads Allowed

A few exceptions to the ban exist, mainly involving state-run gaming. The country’s ONCE Lottery can buy advertisements. EIBT allows static betting odds during broadcasts of local football team, Basque Pelota.

The Basque broadcaster becomes the second to ban gambling advertising during certain broadcasts. The Assembly of Madrid told Radio-Television Madrid (TeleMadrid) to end all of their gambling-related content.

Other partial bans could follow. The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) won a snap election on April 28. PSOE openly opposes gambling, but were not able to successfully get a majority of the parliament.

For now, they are expected to form a kind of coalition which could hold back their anti-gambling policies.

UK Gaming Ad Restrictions

Spain is falling in line behind the U.K. and Italy, who implemented restrictions or bans on gambling adverts. The U.K. gradually restricted regulations on gambling advertisements during certain times.

British MPs fear gambling ads exert influence on children and increased underage gambling over the years. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banned broadcasts ads for gaming groups during football matches.

Italian Betting Advertisement Ban

Italy put tighter restrictions in place when it comes to gambling adverts, though, operators were open about their disapproval of the changes. After months of grousing, Italian gaming companies called the laws “a work in progress” and adjusted to the ban.

At the beginning, Italy’s restrictions were said to be strict, with the estimated cost to Italian football clubs $200 million a year.

Albania and Georgia Ban Ads

Those are just two of the many who have already placed a ban or the few who are in the works of joining in. Albania and Georgia both have already banned gambling ads. Germany and Ireland are discussing making the same changes to their regulations.

With changing coming from the new Spanish government as well as the sudden absence of gambling adverts, the Spanish sector might hit a stand-still for a while. Though the Spanish gambling industry has seen little movement over the past few years, the government is unlikely to boost the gaming industry if the operators cannot advertise to the population. \

Basque Country

Basque Country is located in the Western Pyrenees straddling the border between Spain and France. It is located on the Bay of Biscay and comprises three distinct jurisdictions. These are the County of Navarre and the Basque Country in Spain, as well as the Northern Basque Country in France.

Due to their isolation in the mountainy regions on the edge of Europe, the Basque People remain one of the most ethnically distinct people on the continent. The Basque language is unrelated to any other language in Europe and is considered a language isolate (related to no known living language). These days, only 28% of Basque people speak the langauge.

93% of the Basque population lives inside Spain, while the remaining 6%+ of the people live in France. Given its distinct nature, the Basque People have sought independence from Spain through the decades. Brief attempts at independence are nothing new, at least since Navarre was absorbed by France in 1620.