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With a new gambling regulation, Spain seeks to tighten down harder on advertisements

After rejecting a number of amendments to the measure, the Spanish Senate has approved a new gambling law that would place a greater emphasis on problem gambling prevention and further restrict advertising.

The measure was initially presented on May 27 of this year. It was passed by the Chamber of Deputies of Spain on September 22 and then referred to the Senate.

In November of 2020, Spain implemented extensive advertising prohibitions. This meant that advertisements could only air between 1am and 5am on television and radio, and gambling partnerships with football teams were prohibited. Continued transactions were permitted until the end of the season.

Several of these limitations were part of Spain's initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic, when initial advertising restrictions were implemented. These limits were eventually abolished in June, but many were reinstated in a directive issued in November.

Now, the new measure intends to reinstate further limits that were included in the temporary Covid-19 regulations.

The bill emphasises socially responsible advertising practises. The marketing of products as useful to social standing, physical health, economic stability, or mental health is prohibited.

In addition, advertisements cannot link gambling to personal or social achievement, represent money or luxury products, or imply that family and friendships should take a back seat to gambling.

In addition, the measure includes provisions concerning loot boxes and other digital assets. The Spanish government will establish regulations for the usage of loot boxes, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other monetisation mechanisms. This will include controls on advertising, the dissemination of accurate information to consumers, and safety precautions.

Additionally, the measure will establish the Global Betting Market Research Service, an organisation that will process personal data to prevent fraud in Spain's gaming industry. It will be administered by the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ).

Penalties for law violations range from €150 to €10,000 for minor offences, €10,001 to €100,000 for major offences, and €100,001 to €1 million for extremely serious offences.

The bill will become law one day following its publication in the Official State Gazette of Spain.



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