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Spanish Supreme Court Overturns Gambling Regulations


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spain_supreme_court_overturns_gambling_ad_restrictionsSpanish gambling law is rapidly changing, and a lot of efforts have been made in order for the state to find a solution that works for everyone. The most recent step towards gambling ad regulations was made when the Supreme Court partially approved the appeal against Royal Decree 958/2020, placed by the Spanish Digital Gaming Association (Jdigital).

Some of the bans previously incorporated into the law, including bans on celebrity ads, were discharged.

Changes in regulations

Since Royal Decree 958/2020 was approved in November 2020, the Spanish operators worked on preventing minors from being exposed to ads through various prohibitions, including sponsorship deals.

However, Jdigital was against it and amended it for the first time in November 2023, when the amendment was rejected. Since then, the Constitutional Court changed its decision, so some of the regulations were annulled.

Among the measures that have been lifted is Article 13, which focuses on targeting new customers. From now on, the operators will have a chance to target the players who created the accounts less than 30 days before the ad starts running. On top of that, they can run ads for lottery games.

On top of that, Article 15 has been annulled. It is related to the appearance of celebrities in ads – now both fictional and real characters are allowed to be included in gambling advertisements.

Thanks to changing the first section of Article 23 and the third section of Article 25, the operators can run their ads on video-sharing platforms, including YouTube. Article 26 has also undergone some changes, so since sections 2 and 3 were annulled, the operators will be allowed to target all users over 18 years old on social media.

According to Spain’s Supreme Court, these regulations didn’t have a great legal basis, so the overturn is natural.

Among the rules that were prescribed by the Decree, all ads on TV, radio, and YouTube were restricted to a period from 1 am to 5 am, and only operators’ social media followers were allowed to be targeted. On top of that, the restrictions were related to the age of users and promotion of the bonuses, except for the verified players.

Since the law passed back in October 2022, various bans have taken place, including all references to social status, health, and economic stability. On top of that, putting gambling in the first place compared to friends and family in ads is prohibited, as well as mentioning money or luxury goods.

Sports sponsorships are still banned in Spain, as well as sponsoring sports events and broadcasts.

Good news for Spanish operators

As iGaming Business reports, the Supreme Court commented: “The ruling considers that advertising is part of the freedom of business and is subject to limits. However, such limits and prohibitions, insofar as they also affect the exercise of a lawful business activity, must have sufficient legal coverage, without being able to be regulated by independent regulatory standards unrelated to the criteria and limits set by the legislator.”

Operators are satisfied with the decision since it will make the customer acquisition a lot easier for them. According to Patricia Lalanda, a partner in a law firm specializing in gaming, LOYRA Abogados, the news was unexpected. She said: “When we received the judgment, the ruling of partial upholding of the appeal, annulling some of the most relevant articles of Royal Decree 958/2020 on commercial gaming communications, we were very surprised. After the order of the Constitutional Court basically saying that with the reform of Law 13/2011 on the regulation of gambling, the object of the question of constitutionality had disappeared, everything indicated that the Supreme Court would go along the same line. But nothing could be further from the truth; the sentence is conclusive.”


Spain Supreme Court overturns gambling ad restrictions, igamingbusiness.com, April 10, 2024.

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