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Spanish Constitutional Court Upholds Gambling Advertising Ban Amid Legal Challenge



In a pivotal decision, the Spanish Constitutional Court has delivered a unanimous verdict, upholding the nation’s stringent gambling advertising ban. This legal battle saw the online gambling trade body, Jdigital, locking horns with the government over the constitutionality of Spain’s Royal Decree on Advertising, which introduced sweeping restrictions on gambling ads. As the court resoundingly rejected Jdigital’s appeal, the gambling industry in Spain faces a transformative landscape where responsible gaming measures take center stage. Dive into the details of this significant ruling that shapes Spain’s gambling policy and the impact of former Minister Alberto Garzon’s retirement.

In a landmark verdict that reverberates through Spain’s gambling landscape, the Spanish Constitutional Court has rendered its unanimous decision, cementing the nation’s stringent gambling advertising restrictions. This legal showdown was ignited by none other than Jdigital, the online gambling trade body, which fervently contested the constitutionality of Spain’s Royal Decree on Advertising. This decree, implemented in November 2021 under the guidance of the then Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzon, triggered a seismic shift in the country’s gambling advertising landscape.

The contentious decree, a source of fervent debate and legal wrangling, ushered in a ban on gambling sponsorships in sports and imposed strict limitations on the hours when gambling ads could grace our screens, confining them to the ungodly hours of 1 am to 5 am. Jdigital, swiftly responding to these regulatory waves, raised the banner of constitutional oversight, arguing that due processes had been circumvented.

The crux of Jdigital’s challenge questioned whether the Ministry of Consumer Affairs held jurisdiction over advertising regulations in the first place. However, the Constitutional Court, in a decisive ruling, has asserted that the Ministry appropriately amended Spain’s Gambling Act before effecting these sweeping changes to advertising rules, effectively quashing Jdigital’s constitutional concerns.


But this legal tussle isn’t an isolated incident in Spain’s ongoing battle for responsible gaming and advertising. In March, Spain’s Council of Ministers gave the green light to a new royal decree that ushered in a formidable array of 30 responsible gaming measures. The Royal Decree of the Development of Safer Gaming Environments, championed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, follows the trailblazing decree from the previous year that introduced advertising restrictions.

Of particular note is the heightened focus on young adults aged between 18 and 25, a demographic more susceptible to the allure of gaming. The ministry, cognizant of the potential harm, has structured these measures with their well-being in mind. However, the regulations extend their protective reach to encompass all gamblers, emphasizing the holistic approach to fostering a safer gaming environment.

In the backdrop of these developments, there has been a changing of the guard. Alberto Garzon, who played a pivotal role in shaping these policies, has retired from politics. His successor, Pablo Bustinduy, now helms the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, taking the reins of Spain’s gambling policy. This transition coincides with a broader reshuffle within Spain’s progressive government under President Pedro Sanchez, adding further intrigue to the unfolding narrative.

As Spain navigates the intricate terrain of responsible gaming, legal challenges, and evolving policy dynamics, the recent Constitutional Court verdict stands as a testament to the nation’s commitment to addressing the complexities of the gambling industry with a forward-looking approach.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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