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Spain Supreme Court Relaxes Gambling Ad Laws



Spain’s Supreme Court Rolls Back Stringent Gambling Ad Restrictions

In a landmark ruling, Spain’s Supreme Court has partially upheld an appeal by the Spanish Digital Gaming Association (Jdigital) against the stringent Royal Decree 958/2020, bringing significant changes to the country’s gambling advertising landscape. This decree, initially enacted in November 2020 to curb minors’ exposure to gambling ads, faced considerable opposition from the industry, leading to a judicial review that has now resulted in the annulment of several restrictive measures, including the prohibition of celebrity endorsements in gambling advertisements.

Navigating Through the Annulments

Freedom in Marketing and Targeted Advertising

The Supreme Court’s decision allows operators to resume targeted advertising towards new customers within 30 days of account creation and in establishments selling lottery games. This ruling dismantles the barriers that previously hindered operators from effectively engaging with potential clients in their early interaction stages.

Celebrity Endorsements Back on the Table


One of the most controversial aspects of the Royal Decree was article 15, banning celebrities from gambling advertisements. The annulment of this measure reopens the door for operators to leverage public figures’ influence, significantly enhancing their marketing campaigns’ reach and effectiveness.

Expanding Digital and Social Media Presence

The court’s ruling also liberates operators from restrictions on advertising on video-sharing platforms like YouTube and broadens their capacity to market on social media to individuals over the age of 18. This adjustment is poised to revitalize operators’ digital marketing strategies, offering a wider canvas to connect with their audience.

Supreme Court’s Rationale

A Question of Legal Coverage


The Supreme Court identified a lack of legal basis for several measures within Royal Decree 958/2020, leading to their overturn. This decision underscores the court’s view that advertising freedoms, as part of business liberties, require robust legal justification for any imposed limits or prohibitions.

The Continuing Bans

Sports Sponsorship Still Off-Limits

Despite the partial victory for the gambling industry, the Supreme Court did not annul article 12, maintaining the ban on operators’ advertising, branding, and sponsorship in sports. This continued prohibition reflects a deliberate effort to shield minors from gambling influences in environments they frequently access.

Implications for the Gambling Industry

A Mixed Bag for Operators


The Supreme Court’s ruling presents a nuanced landscape for Spain’s gambling operators. On one hand, the annulments offer renewed opportunities for marketing innovation and audience engagement. On the other, ongoing restrictions, particularly in sports sponsorship, continue to pose challenges, necessitating creative approaches to brand promotion within the legal framework.

A Call for Comprehensive Legal Frameworks

The ruling highlights the necessity for clear, well-founded legal guidelines governing gambling advertising. As the industry evolves, the interplay between promoting gambling services and safeguarding vulnerable populations, especially minors, remains a critical concern that requires balanced, legally sound solutions.

Conclusion: A New Chapter in Spanish Gambling Advertising

Spain’s Supreme Court decision marks a pivotal moment in the country’s gambling advertising regulations, offering a reprieve from some of Royal Decree 958/2020’s most stringent restrictions. As the industry navigates this altered regulatory environment, the focus shifts to leveraging the newfound freedoms responsibly while anticipating potential future legal and regulatory developments. This ruling not only impacts the gambling sector’s marketing practices but also sets a precedent for the regulatory treatment of advertising freedoms in Spain, balancing business interests with social and ethical considerations.


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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