Date: 02.05.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Last update: 08.05.2024 11:50

Spain Strengthen Gambling Ad Restrictions Following Supreme Court Ruling

The Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs, under the new leadership of Minister Pablo Bustinduy, is taking decisive steps to reinforce gambling advertising restrictions following a recent Supreme Court decision that annulled key articles of the Royal Decree on Advertising.

Supreme Court Decision and Legislative Response

The Supreme Court’s annulment targeted specific aspects of the Royal Decree, including prohibitions on promotional advertising incentives, use of celebrities in advertisements, and broad bans on commercial communication through online platforms. This decision came after Jdigital, Spain’s online gambling trade association, challenged the Decree’s implementation as overstepping constitutional procedures.

In response, Minister Bustinduy expressed the Ministry’s commitment to reinstating stricter controls, particularly focusing on internet and social media advertising, the involvement of celebrities or influencers in gambling campaigns, and the regulation of welcome bonuses targeting younger demographics.

Stricter Measures on the Horizon

The Ministry’s agenda extends beyond mere reinstatement of previous restrictions. Plans include the introduction of new laws aimed at regulating ‘loot boxes’ in video games and implementing ID verification requirements, which were not originally part of the Decree.

Moreover, the Spanish government is pushing forward with the Royal Decree on Responsible Gaming Environments. This initiative seeks to establish stringent surveillance of gambling operators and market activities, positioning Spain to have the most rigorous monitoring system in Europe by 2024. Key features of this initiative will include the creation of a centralized player registry and mandatory record-keeping of ‘risk profiles’ for customers under the age of 25.

Consultation and Implementation Challenges

The Directorate General of Gambling Regulation (DGOJ) is currently consulting on the technical requirements needed to enforce the Decree effectively.

There are ongoing discussions about the feasibility of implementing such stringent supervisory measures and whether Spanish authorities can adequately monitor gambling activities and consumer engagements.