Tobacco-style gambling ad restrictions coming to Spain

The new coalition government of Spain has confirmed that tobacco-style ad restrictions are coming for the country’s gambling industry.

In the 2020 manifesto, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and Unidos Podemos party want to deal with problematic gambling. They described the introduction of this regulation as “urgent”.

Pressure has been growing for a while 

The Spanish government’s promises are the culmination of a lengthy demand to promote more responsible gambling in the country. Towards the end of 2019, it was revealed that gambling addiction would soon be classified as a mental disorder.

The PSOE and UP also threatened to get harsher on gambling ads in November. This prompted operators in the country to sign a voluntary advertising code, which was planned to come into force on 15th January 2020. However, the two ruling parties have followed through on their initial intentions.

What are Spain’s tobacco laws like? 

Spain has gotten tough on tobacco in the 21st century and smoking is banned in numerous places. These include indoor public places and workplaces, as well as on public transport.

When it comes to advertising, the promotion of tobacco is prohibited for the large part. But there are a couple of exceptions. At the point of sale, for example, ads are permitted albeit restricted. Ads are also allowed in publications that were printed outside of the European Union and are not mainly aimed at the European market.

As far as sponsorship is concerned, this is a no-go.


These incoming regulations could impact both iGaming affiliates in Spain and the country’s growing sector. In the second quarter of 2019, overall affiliate spending had increased to  €8.7 million. This formed 10% of the total marketing spend here.

But with these new restrictions coming into force, it’s probable that these figures will fluctuate. As such, it’s up to operators and affiliates alike to decide on the best way forward.

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