The Royal Decree Law 21/2020 of June 9, published in today’s Official State Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado), expressly repeals article 37 of the Royal Decree Law 11/2020, which established an almost absolute prohibition – except for the time slot from 1:00 to 5:00 AM – of the advertisement activity of lotteries and state-wide online gaming, due to the special situation caused by the state of alarm and the crisis of Covid 19.

With no additional consideration in the Exposition of Reasons of the Royal Decree Law 21/2020 other than to be consistent with the reopening of activities of phases 2 and 3 of the so-called de-escalation, this unconditional repeal of said article will come into force starting tomorrow June 11(at 0:00 hours to be more precise). There is therefore no need to wait for the state of alarm to finish, which should occur June 20.

The practical consequences of this repeal are as follows:

  1. As per SELAE and ONCE (and the EAJA) lotteries, the programs and advertisement spots can now be broadcasted on audio-visual media, announcing the draws and informing of the prizes, which with the previous prohibition were limited to the restricted hours.
  2. As far as online gaming is concerned, the previous situation returns, a regime without legal hourly prohibitions, and limitations only in terms of the message. Entities that wish to maintain their “advertising self-regulation” systems may once again limit themselves, of course, to the extent that they have adhered to AUTOCONTROL code of conduct.
  3. As per the specific prohibition of advertising messages with references to the health situation caused by Covid 19 that would persist during one month after the stated of alarm, this one-month prohibition has also been cancelled. This is because article 37 is repealed without any conditions. Therefore, marketing creatives will be able to use such messages in their campaigns starting June 11.
  4. All other collateral and additional prohibitions that applied at any time of the day or night are also lifted: prohibitions of campaigns on social networks, bonus offers, advertising sponsorship by sports clubs and other entities, and other advertising activities, which as of tomorrow can be carried out and at any time.

As “normality” will resume in the advertising of state-wide level games and lotteries, please be noted that Draft Decree on Commercial Communications process is still open. This Decree will define, when approved, the definitive regime for the promotion, advertising, and sponsorship of these games. Its development was interrupted by the entry into force of the state of alarm when the period of allegations and public information was suspended, however resumed when the suspension of all administrative procedures was lifted on June 1.

All comments and alerts on the legal implications of the state of alarm can be consulted on our website www.loyra.com

Loyra Abogados. Gambling Law Area

Madrid, June 10, 2020.