Scope of the ban on offering bets on events in which minors participate

On 22 July, the Official Gazette of the Spanish State published the Resolution of 11 July 2019, banning offering betting on events in which participants are exclusively or mainly minors, from the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling.

This Resolution establishes two specific and different rules: one for competitions aimed exclusively at people of 18 years or younger, and another for all the events offered by an operator.

An event, as specified by the ministerial orders regulating the types of regulated bets, is an event, sporting or otherwise, previously determined by the operator in their schedules and which is carried out within the framework of a sporting or other type of competition. Therefore, this Resolution affects betting on competitions or events, but not betting on events or circumstances that are part of or take part within the framework of these competitions or events, which may be offered provided that the event or competition in which they are part is permitted.

The way in which these two rules (competition and event) must be applied by the operators marketing any of the betting methods permitted by the current legislation is explained below.

  • Competitions exclusively for people of 18 years or younger:

In this case, it is prohibited to offer betting on all the events of this competition as there is an especially significant risk that the large majority of the events offered will end up with participants who are minors.

  • Events in which participants are exclusively or mainly minors.

This rule must be applied to all events offered by an operator in their betting schedule, applying the following interpretative rules:

  • The participants in an event are any players or competitors who may take part in this event. For practical purposes, in team competitions, this concept shall include all people taking part in the event in question, that is, the starters and substitutes of each of the teams involved in the event. In individual competitions, this accuracy would not be applied as in this type of competition, in principle, there are no substitutes for the different rounds or events that make up the competition.
  • An event in which the participants are mainly minors is when is when at least half plus one of all the participants in this event are younger than 18 years old, that is, when over 50% of the total players at the event are younger than 18 years old.

Some practical examples of applying this ban are outlined below:

  • Tennis: a singles tennis match shall not be an event played by minors if only one of the players is younger than 18 years old. A doubles tennis match shall not be an event played by minors if only two of the players are younger than 18 years old.
  • Football: a match shall be an event played by minors when out of the squads of players for the match, 44 players (22 for each team), at least 23 are younger than 18 years old.