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Spain's Council of Ministers approves new Royal Decree on online gambling ...and more!

Spain's Council of Ministers approves new Royal Decree on online gambling

Yesterday, Spain's Council of Ministers approved the long-awaited Royal Decree on Safer Gambling.

The Royal Decree on Safer Gambling introduces an extensive set of duty of care provisions that obligates licensed gambling operators to take additional preventive and remedial measures to protect their players against harmful gambling behavior. These measures include additional restrictions on direct marketing, early interventions (up to and including preventive account suspensions of players deemed to be at-risk), and awareness-raising messaging.

Serious infractions on the new rules may lead to fines of up to €1m and the suspension of the gaming license for a period of up to six months.

Most of the new rules stipulated in the Royal Decree will enter into force six months after publication of the document in Spain's official gazette – which could happen as soon as today. A small number of stipulations – due to their technical complexity – will enter into force twelve months after publication of the Royal Decree.

In response to the new regulations, Spanish trade association Jdigital said that the new rules contributed to the “hyperregulation” of Spain's online gambling sector at a time when already low problem gambling rates are falling further.

The trade association, however, welcomed the fact that licensed operators will be given up to twelve months to implement all the new requirements that come at “a very high cost for operators in terms of resources and technical investments.”

Spanish government publishes public tender for IT system to implement cross-operator deposit limits

In addition to the new rules of the Royal Decree on Safer Gambling, Spain's Ministry of Consumer Affairs also published a public tender aimed at procuring a system for the gambling regulator to implement a cross-operator deposit limit in the country.

The explanatory report of the public tender states that “this system is conceived as a self-control tool and will allow each player to define the maximum limit of deposits that they can make on any of the licensed gambling platforms in a certain daily or weekly period of time.”

Gaming in Spain webinar: “Regulatory update”

To further explain and contextualize these regulatory changes, Gaming in Spain will organize a webinar on Wednesday, March 29 at 15:00 CET.

This webinar will have the goal of clarifying the obligations resulting from the new Royal Decree for Spanish- licensed operators.

The webinar will feature the following speakers:

  • Santiago Asensi, Managing Partner at Asensi Abogados and Spain's pre-eminent gambling lawyer

  • Jorge Hinosa, Director General of trade association Jdigital

  • Alla Serebrianskaia, Partner at Asensi Abogados

Don't miss it! Register for the webinar here:

Get in-depth information on the Spanish iGaming market at the 2023 Gaming in Spain Conference

Even more information will be available at the upcoming 2023 Gaming in Spain Conference.

The 2023 Gaming in Spain Conference “Moving forward in a highly regulated market” will take place on May 28, 2023, at Castellana 81/BBVA, an iconic example of contemporary Spanish architecture in the heart of Madrid.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Mikel Arana, Director General of Spanish gambling regulator DGOJ

  • Juan Espinosa, former Director General, DGOJ

  • Santiago Asensi, Managing Partner, Asensi Abogados

  • Alla Serebrianskaia, Partner at Asensi Abogados

  • Jorge Hinojosa, Director General of Jdigital

  • Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, European Betting & Gaming Association

  • Birgitte Sand, former Executive Director, Danish Gambling Authority

  • And many more!

The 2023 Gaming in Spain Conference is THE place to meet the key decision makers in Spain's regulated iGaming market.

As we are aiming to draw a broad and inclusive audience, tickets are priced at only €375.00 for a full day of highly informative sessions.

Book your ticket now:

“Illegal gambling threatens Spain's regulated market”

One of the issues that will be discussed at the 2023 Gaming in Spain Conference is how to preserve the health of the regulated market in the face of mounting regulatory pressure.

Jorge Hinojosa, Director General of trade association Jdigital, one of the major stakeholders of Spain's gambling ecosystem, offers the following thoughts related to this challenge:

“Despite the sustained growth of the online gambling ecosystem in Spain and Europe, there is still a great deal of ignorance about fundamental concepts related to the sector, which can lead to a greater proliferation of illegal gambling.

In fact, according to recent economic data, illegal gambling could account for around 3% of all economic transactions that take place. In addition, one of the alarming conclusions of Jdigital’s study “The Digital Gambler,” presented in 2022, is that 48.2% of Spaniards do not know how to differentiate between legal and illegal operators, and that 53% of the population plays with both kinds of operators, without even trying to distinguish between legal and illegal offerings.

In view of this reality, we regret to note that the earlier Royal Decree on Commercial Communications of Gambling Activities appears to have exacerbated this problem, and that regulatory authorities and the sector must work together to raise awareness among the population about the tools that may guarantee safe and responsible gambling behavior. The drafting of the Royal Decree on Safer Gambling offers a unique opportunity in this regard.

During these past months, Jdigital has worked together with representatives of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to improve the regulation proposed in the Royal Decree on Safer Gambling.

One result of these efforts is that there will be a grace period of at least six months before the stipulations of the latest Royal Decree need to be fully implemented by the sector.

Moreover, when the 2023 Gaming in Spain Conference takes place, we will finally be able to discuss the measures included in the Royal Decree on Safer Gambling in extensive detail.

Hopefully, these measures will be more effective and respectful of the realities of Spain's gambling ecosystem than the regulations first approved during the current parliamentary term.”


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