Appeal against Gambling Restrictions in Spain Continues

If you watch gambling ads in Spain, then being an insomniac or working a night shift is handy. Last November saw restrictions put in place that saw such ads only able to be shown between 1am and 5am. Now an appeal is going ahead against the royal decree that put this restriction in place.

This week saw the Supreme Court in Spain rule that a constitutional review can be held into the restriction. The appeal against the restriction is being carried out by Jdigital who are the online trade association in Spain and the Spanish media body, the Asociación de Medios de Información (AMI).

In their views the royal decree should have been given constitutional approval before coming into force. They both believe that such approval would not have been received for the restriction on when gambling ads can be shown.

This they claim is because the royal decree is in breach of article 53 of the Spanish Constitution. That article guarantees both fundamental rights and freedoms. Jdigital and AMI believe that this gambling ad rule is not just “disproportionate” but is an “ineffective” solution.

The restriction on when gambling ads can be shown isn’t the only one that is affecting gambling in Spain. There is also a ban on gambling sponsorship for all sports apart from where there are hookups with the lottery operators who are state-owned.

It was in 2020 when there was first plans to restrict when gambling ads can be shown. Jdgitial represents 80% of the Spanish online gambling industry and have been against such a move ever since it was first mooted.

The Royal Decree also stated that the brand names of gambling companies cannot be shown on sports equipment or become included in the name of sports clubs, competitions or stadiums. Nor could celebrities be used in gambling advertising. Advertising welcome offers or promotions has also been banned.

It’s been a busy May for the Congress of Deputies of Spain. They discussed and then approved a motion concerning a full vote to be held on the proposed changes to gambling legislation. The plans would see the state being given more control over how betting fraud and sports corruption is monitored. A full vote would follow the approval already given by a health commission.

Spain’s gambling regulator is the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ). Under the new proposals, they would be put in control of the collection of operator data that is linked to sports corruption and sports betting integrity. The DGOJ would have to be given more information by gambling operators. This would include any suspicious betting patterns, possible fraud and market movements.