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Gaming in Spain Newsletter - Royal Decree on gambling advertising “almost finished” ...and more!

Royal Decree on gambling advertising “almost finished”

The long-awaited Royal Decree on the regulation of online gambling and, in particular, online gambling advertising appears to be almost finished.

According to “financial sources,” representatives of industry trade association Consejo Empresarial del Juego (CEJUEGO) will be briefed this week on the contents of the new Royal Decree.

According to the same sources, the advertising restrictions will fall into three categories. First, there will be new restrictions on the specific timeslots in which gambling advertising can be broadcasted. Second, betting advertising may only be broadcasted if the ads coincide with the event on which the bets are offered. Third and finally, live betting ads may only make up a limited percentage (certainly less than 50%) of all the ads broadcasted during a commercial break while a game is ongoing.

In a recent broadcast interview the new Minister for Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, who oversees gambling policy in the Pedro Sánchez government, said that gambling advertising was currently virtually unregulated: “it is the law of the jungle.” As a result, consumers are constantly enticed to gamble irresponsibly, thus creating a major public health issue, according to Garzón. Spanish problem gambling rates, however, are among the lowest in Europe.

Other measures the gambling industry can expect are a tax increase (reversing a recent cut), a ban on credit card gambling, and tightened opening hours for land-based operators.

Alberto Garzón praises DGOJ; Espinosa to continue as DG

In the abovementioned broadcast interview, Alberto Garzón also praised the “good work” of the officials of the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), indicating that the change in government has not harmed the relationship between the Spanish gambling regulator and its new political supervisor.

Last month, Garzón visited the offices of the DGOJ and met with the Executive Board, as well as representatives of the different subdirectorates that make up the General Directorate.

The visit apparently went well, as the current Director-General of the DGOJ, Juan Garcia Espinosa, will maintain his position as head of Spain’s gambling regulatory authority.

Law firm ECIJA to organize seminar on compliance and M&A for online gambling operators

On February 27, ECIJA will organize a one-day seminar in Madrid on “Comprehensive compliance and conducting M&A in Spain’s online gaming sector.”

Xavi Muñoz, Partner at ECIJA, Mikel López de la Torre, President of trade association Jdigital, and Willem van Oort, founder of Gaming in Spain, will present their visions on the expected consolidation in the Spanish online gaming market and its implications for regulatory obligations and compliance.

Upcoming events

The following events may be of interest to members of the GiS community.

  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2020, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 22 April, 2020 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit will return to Barcelona from 30 June – 2 July, 2020. Key themes on the agenda include AI, the future of land-based gaming, CSR, sustainable marketing, regulation updates, fantasy sports, and emerging marketing opportunities.

DGOJ publishes updated online player profile

As in previous years, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) has published an updated profile of the average or typical online gambler in Spain.

Unsurprisingly, players in the age group 26-35 are the most active online, but players in the next age cohort (36-45) spend considerably more money.

Somewhat more surprisingly, the average period during which online players remain active is only slightly less than five months.

The study also shows that while sports betting is still the most popular segment, participation in casino games is growing faster. Similarly, while considerably more men than women gamble online, female participation more than doubled in 2018.

The full study is available here.

Other news

Spain’s Council of Ministers has approved the appointment of José Antonio García, the Deputy Director General of Management and Institutional Relations of the DGOJ, as Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs.

Spanish media conglomerate PRISA, owner of El País, is considering to acquire Unidad Editorial, owner of Spain’s second newspaper El Mundo. If the negotiations succeed, a new national media behemoth would emerge that would own two daily newspapers, two economic newspapers, two sports newspapers, as well as a radio station.

Spanish youth generally see gambling as a fun and harmless leisure activity, a new study found.

The Community of Madrid is preparing a decree meant to protect minors from gambling-related harm.

The Madrid City Council has announced it will close all bookmakers that are not currently licensed by the Community of Madrid.

Meanwhile, a deputy in the legislative body of the Community of Valencia has tabled amendments to the Region’s Gambling Act with the aim of discouraging participation in gambling-related activities.


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