Next move made by Spain following Ombudsman’s blanket ban on advertising

Gambling incumbents in Spain have been served dreaded news as national media reports that the PSOE minority government will be accepting ‘all recommendations’ which are being put forward by Spain’s Civic Ombudsman join limiting gambling advertising.

Despite holding no constitutional majority, the PSOE government will begin drafting a ‘Royal Decree’ which will establish new gambling advertising restrictions to be implemented as a federal law across all Spanish provinces.

Spanish media has reported that the Ombudsman’s advertising recommendations have been accepted by the Ministry of Finance, which will order Spain’s governmental departments to enforce new responsible gambling measures.

The update will see the Spanish government enforce the Ombudsman’s recommended ‘toughest stance on gambling advertising’, which in May, urged the government to sanction an outright blanket ban on all advertising on gambling products and services across all media platforms.

When the decree is drafted, it will then be pushed across Spain’s autonomous communities, banning all forms of gambling advertising, except for national/regional lotteries and ONCE (national disability/blind charity) wagering services.

In its recommendations, the Ombudsman states that Spanish lawmakers should form a specific legislative framework on provisions which regulate online gambling operators and their digital advertising inventories, where they can separate digital advertising formats from traditional channels.

Spanish betting leaders had criticised the Ombudsman review of gambling advertising, where it was stated that its recommendations had been based on a ‘misinformed agenda‘, which treated licensed incumbents as if they were black-market actors.

Facing political pressure and media scrutiny, the majority of Spanish operators accepted that a new Spanish government would move to implement a stricter advertising code, however stakeholders in the industry have rejected the Ombudsman’s recommended action plan.

The Spanish Ministry of Finance has informed the media and stakeholders that all criteria on a future gambling advertising system and controls will be soon revealed as it reciveves oversight from autonomous governments.

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