Supreme Court partially overturns Spanish gambling ad restrictions

Spain introduced tough gambling ad restrictions in 2020.
Spain introduced tough gambling ad restrictions in 2020.

Spain’s Supreme Court has partly ruled in favour of gambling operators’ appeal.

Spain.- The Supreme Court has annulled several aspects of Spain’s restrictions on gambling ads. The online gambling trade body Jdigital had appealed against the restrictions, which were imposed in a royal decree in 2020.

The Constitutional Court rejected Jdigital’s appeal against Royal Decree 958/2020 in November. However, the Supreme Court has now ruled partly in the association’s favour. While the ban on gambling sponsorship in sports and limited hours for television advertising still stand, the court has quashed several other articles in the decree.

The court has annulled article 13, which banned the targeting advertising at players who have had an account for fewer than 30 days, and sections of articles 23, 25 and 26 that banned advertising on social media and video sharing platforms. The decree had limited social media advertising to existing customers, but operators will now be able to advertise on social media to all users aged over 18.

The court also annulled article 15, which prohibited the use of celebrities in advertising. A prohibition on advertising in venues that sell lottery games was also overturned.

Drawn up by the then minister consumer affairs Alberto Garzón and implemented in November 2020, the regulations were intended to reduce minors’ exposure to gambling advertising. However, the Supreme Court found that several measures were without legal basis and posed excessive constraints on a legitimate business activity.

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