Denmark considers banning betting ads during sports broadcasts

Television audiences in Denmark are currently unlikely to be able to watch a football match without being encouraged to bet on the next goalscorer, final result or number of corners.

Denmark considers banning betting ads during sports broadcasts
Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

But that could change if a proposal by Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, gains traction.

The lottery organiser has called for a ban on betting ads during live sports transmissions. That comes after the betting industry was recently asked to produce an ethical stature for its practices, Ritzau writes.

A similar ban on betting ads during sporting transmissions was introduced last year in the United Kingdom.

“We think we have reached a point where it makes sense to discuss whether we should let viewers watch the match in peace, and promote our commercial messages at other times,” director of Danske Spil Jonas Folmann told newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

The idea has been positively received by a range of political parties, including the Socialist People’s Party, the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) and Danish People’s Party. Those parties have said they are prepared to table a bill which would introduce such a ban if the gambling industry does not reach an agreement on its own.

Per Marxen, head press officer with in-play betting provider Unibet, told Jyllands-Posten it was too early to reach conclusions on the effects of the UK ban on betting ads during sporting broadcasts, but said his company was “willing to look at” the question.

The ethical stature currently being prepared within the industry is expected to be completed during the spring.

READ ALSO: Ex-homeless man strikes it rich in Danish lottery


Spain to force gamblers to set time and spending limit before playing online

The Spanish government wants to limit the amount of time and money gamblers spend on online betting and gambling platforms by making them set limits before they start playing. 

Spain to force gamblers to set time and spending limit before playing online

This is the proposal in the latest draft decree of Spain’s General Directorate of Gambling which could be approved at the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Under the new rules, people who play online games such as bingo, roulette, black jack, baccarat and virtual fruit machines would have to first set how much money they intend to gamble and how long they intend to play. 

Whichever of the two limits runs out first would end the gambling session. 

If the law is approved, online gamblers in Spain will still be able to start another session straight afterwards, as the objective of the law is to help prevent players from losing control over what they’re spending and to give them a break to let the adrenaline rush drop and a moment to reconsider their options. 

In any case, online gamblers in Spain would have a daily spending limit of €600 or €1,500 a week if the draft law is approved.

With this clause, lawmakers hope to distinguish “serious” gamblers – those who surpass the 50 percent daily limit of €300 – from those who don’t play online as regularly. 

Once an online gambler was classified as “serious” (intensivo), they would not be allowed to pay for their gambling sessions with a credit card in order to prevent them from piling up debt. 

Spanish authorities are particularly concerned about the increasing number of young people who are becoming addicted to gambling and betting sites, often lured in by the promise of free bets when signing up.  

A 2019 report by Spain’s Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers found that Spain has the highest rate of young gamblers (aged 14 to 21) in the EU. 

READ MORE: Spain has Europe’s highest rate of teen gamblers

The pandemic, including the lockdowns, restrictions and boredom that have come with it, have only served to intensify the trend. 

The average annual spending per player in Spain went from €312 in 2016 to €533 in 2020.

Under the new rules, young people would be considered “serious” gamblers if they spent 25 percent of the limits set: €150 for two days in a row, or €375 over the course of two weeks. 

More than 8.5 percent of online gamblers in Spain (of the 1.5 million total of active players) do not reach the mentioned levels that signal addiction.