Claims of unconstitutionality

Ecuador bans sports betting advertising; Professional Soccer League readies to appeal decision

Reading time 1:42 min

The government of Ecuador, in an act headed by President Guillermo Lasso, subscribed and issued the general regulation to the Organic Law of Communication, which prohibits the advertising of "any type of betting system or sports predictions".

"Misleading advertising is prohibited, as well as any type of advertising or propaganda of child pornography, cigarettes, controlled substances and any type of betting system or sports predictions," according to Article 56, which came into force on the date of its signing on August 23.

Earlier this year, in June, Ecuador's Constitutional Court approved a tax reform that establishes a new single tax for sports betting operators and fans, which will be levied as of January 1, 2024. In Ecuador, there are approximately 26 betting and sports betting sites operating.

Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso signs the regulations of the Communication Law

Faced with this new scenario, the Professional Soccer League of Ecuador - known as LigaPro - expressed its "strong rejection" and its "most energetic protest" against the Government's decision. "This ban not only has a direct impact on the financial health of soccer and the entertainment industry but also highlights a disturbing trend on the part of the current government regarding the sports industry," they noted.

In a lengthy statement, LigaPro also announced that they will take appropriate legal action against this measure. "We will take legal action to challenge this unconstitutional and prejudicial decision for the soccer industry in Ecuador. We cannot allow the undermining of our Constitution and the destruction of one of the few entertainments that maintain the spirit of our country," the league further stated.

Moreover, they pointed out that "it seems that the Government is also unaware that the clubs have made their respective long-term budgets based on these revenues, precisely also for the payments to their players, coaches, suppliers, and other participants in this industry".

"This new prohibition adds an additional element of uncertainty and difficulty, threatening to further aggravate the already delicate financial situation in which many players in the world of sports and entertainment find themselves," the sports association warned.

"As actors committed to the development of sport and Ecuadorian society, we categorically reject this new attack on soccer, investment, and entertainment. We call for respect for our fundamental principles and consideration of the importance of advertising investment in sports predictions for the sustainability of our sport," the league said.

Access here the general regulations of the Organic Law of Communication of Ecuador.

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