Date: 25.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

Spain Bolsters Gambling Law Reforms with New Secretary General Appointment

The Council of Ministers of Spain has appointed Andrés Barragán Urbiola as the new Secretary General of Consumption and Gaming. This appointment underscores Spain’s commitment to stringent regulatory oversight in the gambling sector.

A New Era of Gambling Reform

Under the directive of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Andrés Urbiola will spearhead the ongoing overhaul of Spain’s gambling laws. The recent reshuffling in the Ministry saw Pablo Bustinduy assume responsibility for gambling reforms, a role previously held by Alberto Garzon. Bustinduy’s appointment of Urbiola marks a continuation of the efforts to refine and enforce comprehensive gambling regulations.

Previous Reforms and Future Directions

Spain’s gambling landscape has undergone significant changes since 2020, beginning with Garzon’s enactment of the “Royal Decree on Gambling Advertising.” This legislation, which bans betting sponsorships and limits gambling advertisements to late-night hours, set a new precedent for market control.

Following this, the “Royal Decree on Responsible Gaming Environments” was approved in 2023, introducing measures such as a centralized player registry and enhanced scrutiny on the activities of younger consumers.

Urbiola’s Vision for Reform

With a robust background in economic policy and financial analysis, Urbiola brings valuable expertise from his tenure in the Ministry of Economy, Commerce, and Business. His role in crafting support measures during the pandemic and planning Spain’s Transformation and Resilience Recovery Plan were instrumental in his selection.

As Secretary General, Urbiola will focus on enforcing these new regulations, ensuring that by 2024, Spanish gambling operators align with some of Europe’s strictest regulatory standards.

Spain’s Commitment to Safe Gambling

The appointment of Urbiola aligns with Spain’s broader strategy to create a safer gambling environment and tackle challenges associated with gambling addiction. This strategy is part of the new Action Plan on Addictions for 2025-2028, spearheaded by Bustinduy, reflecting a comprehensive approach to consumer protection and industry oversight.