La Liga, the top soccer league in Spain, returns today. A strange-from-the-outside wrinkle to the return to play is that gambling ads will not be permitted to be shown for a little while due to national regulations. When Spain went into quarantine in March, they issued a national ban of gambling advertising except for the hours between 1 am and 5 am local time. Thus, the ads on display boards across La Liga have to be removed from their stadiums to comply with the regulations.
According to InkedIn, this regulation also affects the main sponsorships on the jerseys for eight clubs: Valencia, Alavés, Leganés, Granada, Mallorca, Sevilla, Osasuna and Levante.
“The government approved the banning of gambling advertising in March in order to protect the most vulnerable people during lockdown,” sources close to the Minister of Consumer Affairs told Marca.com. “The overexposure to this sort of advertisement threatened to generate a public health problem.”
This sounds silly, but my best guess is that the rule is in place to discourage people from congregating indoors at betting shops, which are all over the place across not just Spain but much of Europe. The advertising ban ends on June 21st, so it’s not as though this is going to have a long-term impact on La Liga. Nonetheless, it’s an annoyance for them to have to deal with their ad boards, jerseys, and inevitable ad contract adjustments.