Gambling Ad Restrictions Proposed for Spanish Market

The gambling sector in Spain is bracing itself for tough new rules on advertising, as the new coalition government prepares to begin its overhaul of the gambling sector. 

According to reporting in the Spanish media, gambling advertising will not be banned, but it will be restricted to a four-hour window starting at 01:00. The new proposals appear to have come out of a meeting on Thursday between Alberto Garzon, the new Minister of Consumer Affairs and a number of leading online gambling executives. The meeting was said to include representatives of companies including CeJuego and JDigital, and it covered the government’s plans for reforms of the gambling industry, both the land-based and online sectors.

One Spanish media company reported that the four-hour advertising window, which would apply to both radio and television, was an initial proposal, alongside significant restrictions on internet advertising. But the full details of the proposals have not been finalised and won’t be released for several weeks as the government continues to work on its draft proposals.

Mikel Lopez de Torre, the Chairman of JDigital was involved in the discussions, and following the end of the talks, he issued a statement expressing his positive assessment regarding the proposals, although he added that he wanted to see the full details before committing to a final view.

He also warned that there was a risk associated with what he described as ‘over-regulation’ and pointed to the Dignity Decree introduced in Italy in 2018, which he said had simply pushed online gamblers into using illegal offshore sites. And, in calling for proportionate and fair regulation, he pointed out that Spain had one of the lowest problem gambling rates in Europe. 

But the new coalition government seems unlikely to change tack on its approach of tighter regulation. They are currently considering a range of possible regulatory reforms, including a ban on credit card betting, which would follow the example set by the UK Gambling Commission.

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