Portuguese legislature approves gambling ad time limits

| By Marese O'Hagan
Proposals that aim to establish limits on gambling advertising in Portugal have been unanimously approved following a debate in by the country's legislature.

All four bills discussed by the Assembly of the Republic outline that gambling be treated similarly to alcohol advertising, in that it should be banned from television and radio between 7am and 10:30pm.

Two of the four bills in question – Bill 919 and Bill 343 – aim to amend Portugal’s Code of Advertising for the 15th and 16th time by including additional restrictions on gambling advertising.

Bill 919, which was published on July 29, was created in response to the rise of online gambling in Portugal during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The bill text included figures from Portugal’s Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service, which reported that 329,400 new players registered to gamble in the first quarter of 2021.

Proposals were also included that stipulated more protections for minors in advertising.

Bill 343 was published on April 28 2020. It also pointed towards the increase in online gambling in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic, while calling for advertising limitations.

A further bill, titled Bill 951, intends to make it mandatory to include warnings about addiction in advertisements for what it calls “social games”, such as the Euromillions and other lotteries. This is to address those who suffer from addiction, while preventing future instances.

The final bill, Bill 952, also aims to limit gambling advertising while improving responsible gambling awareness and tightening consumer protection.

It also calls for a self-exclusion process for those who do not wish to view gambling advertising on the internet.

The bills were approved by the Assembly of the Republic on October 1.

The bills will then move to the next stage, where they will be discharged to the Committee on Economy, Innovation, Works, Public and Housing for 60 days.

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