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Spain Reinforces Gambling Ad Restrictions Amid Legal Challenges



Spain’s Renewed Crackdown on Gambling Advertising: A Strategic Shift in Regulation

Amid a shifting landscape, Spain’s gambling industry faces renewed regulatory efforts aimed at curbing advertising practices.

The new Spanish Minister for Social Rights and Consumer Affairs, Pablo Bustinduy, is set to reintroduce stringent gambling advertising restrictions, signaling a fresh wave of regulatory enforcement.

Picture a gambling market where consumer protection is paramount, and advertising practices are closely regulated to ensure responsible gaming.

Discover how these upcoming legislative changes could reshape the gambling advertising sphere in Spain and what it means for stakeholders.


Spain’s Legislative Pivot: Reintroducing Gambling Advertising Restrictions

In a decisive move that signals ongoing regulatory vigilance, Spain’s new minister for social rights and consumer affairs, Pablo Bustinduy, has announced plans to reintroduce and expand gambling advertising restrictions. This development comes after the Supreme Court’s recent annulment of specific provisions under Royal Decree 958/2020, which had initially set strict boundaries on how gambling products could be marketed.

Background and Supreme Court Ruling

The controversy began when Jdigital, a prominent industry body, successfully appealed against certain restrictive measures imposed by Royal Decree 958/2020. The Supreme Court’s decision last month to annul several key articles of this decree marked a temporary victory for gambling operators, particularly concerning the freedom to advertise on television outside limited hours and the prohibition on celebrity endorsements in gambling ads.

The Annulled Provisions

Key provisions that were overturned include:

  • Article 13: This article, which prevented targeting advertising to players who have an account for fewer than 30 days, was quashed.
  • Articles 23, 25, and 26: Restrictions that banned advertising on social media and video sharing platforms were annulled.
  • Article 15: The prohibition on the use of celebrities in gambling advertising was lifted.
  • Additionally, a ban on advertising in venues that sell lottery games was overturned, further loosening the advertising constraints.

The Path Forward: Reinforcement and Expansion of Restrictions

Despite the setback in the courts, Minister Bustinduy is poised to not only reinstate these restrictions but also introduce additional measures to tighten control over gambling advertisements. His approach focuses on minimizing the gambling sector’s visibility on the internet and social media and curtailing the influential power of celebrities and influencers in promoting gambling activities.

Broader Implications and Additional Measures

Bustinduy’s strategy extends beyond mere reinstatement of previous regulations. He is exploring innovative regulatory frameworks that address emerging challenges in the digital gaming sphere, such as loot boxes and the necessity for robust ID verification processes in video games. These elements, while not originally part of the 2020 decree, signify a broader intent to comprehensively oversee and regulate the intersection of technology, media, and gambling.


Stakeholder Responses and Industry Outlook

The response from the gambling industry to these renewed efforts is mixed. While some view the regulations as necessary to protect vulnerable populations and promote responsible gambling, others argue that overly stringent restrictions could drive consumers towards unregulated markets, potentially increasing risks.

Conclusion: A Delicate Balance

As Spain navigates the complexities of gambling regulation, the key challenge for Bustinduy and his team will be to strike a balance between consumer protection and industry sustainability. The goal is clear: to create a regulatory environment that curtails the risks associated with gambling without stifling the industry’s potential to operate effectively within legal bounds.

The ongoing developments in Spain’s gambling regulations will undoubtedly have significant implications for both domestic and international stakeholders. As the landscape evolves, it will be crucial for all parties to stay informed and engaged with the regulatory process to ensure that the final outcomes serve the best interests of both consumers and the industry.


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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