Supreme Court overturns Spanish gambling ad restrictions

  • 2 min read
Supreme Court overturns Spanish gambling ad restrictions

The Supreme Court has invalidated various components of Spain’s restrictions on gambling advertisements. Initially imposed via a royal decree in 2020, these restrictions faced opposition from the online gambling trade body, Jdigital.

Although Jdigital’s appeal against Royal Decree 958/2020 was dismissed by the Constitutional Court in November, the Supreme Court has recently ruled partially in favor of the association. While prohibitions on gambling sponsorship in sports and limitations on television advertising hours remain intact, the court has struck down several other provisions within the decree.

Article 13, which prohibited targeted advertising towards players with accounts less than 30 days old, has been annulled, alongside segments of articles 23, 25, and 26, which banned advertising on social media and video sharing platforms. Originally, the decree restricted social media advertising solely to existing customers; however, operators are now permitted to advertise on social media to all users aged over 18.

Furthermore, the court has nullified article 15, which forbade the use of celebrities in advertising, and overturned the prohibition on advertising in venues selling lottery games.

These regulations, drafted by the former Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, and enforced in November 2020, aimed to minimize minors’ exposure to gambling advertising. However, the Supreme Court deemed several measures lacking legal basis and imposing excessive constraints on a legitimate business activity.