Supreme Court in Spain Overturn Gambling Ad Restrictions

The Supreme Court in Spain has annulled some of the restrictions on gambling advertisements set out in the Royal Decree 958/2020 legislation following a legal challenge by the Spanish Digital Gaming Association (Jdigital).

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The Spanish gaming regulator introduced strict gambling legislation in the Royal Decree 958/2020 in 2020 to create an environment of responsible gaming in the jurisdiction.

Many gaming operators in the region thought that large parts of the new legislation were too draconian and mounted a legal challenge to the regulations led by Jdigital.

In November 2023, the Spanish Constitutional Court heard the case and rejected the appeal by Jdigital. Which lead to the gaming association deciding to take the appeal process to the higher Supreme Court.

Details of Articles Overturned by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in this judgment, struck down much of the key legislation in Royal Decree 958/2020. This included annulling the measure that specified gaming operators could not use celebrities or athletes in gambling advertisements, stating this infringed on business freedoms.

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Additionally, legislation in Article 13 that restricted advertising to new customers has been overturned, meaning gambling companies can advertise to customers who have had an account for less than thirty days.

Parts of Article 23 in the Royal Decree were also annulled, which related to restrictions on gaming operators advertising on social media platforms such as YouTube.

However, some of the restrictions in the legislation are still in place including a ban on sponsorships of sports teams by gaming operators.

When we received the judgment, the ruling of partial upholding of the appeal, annulling some of the most relevant articles of Royal Decree 958/2020 on commercial gaming communications, we were very surprised. After the order of the Constitutional Court basically saying that with the reform of Law 13/2011 on the regulation of gambling, the object of the question of constitutionality had disappeared, everything indicated that the Supreme Court would go along the same line. But nothing could be further from the truth; the sentence is conclusive.

Patricia LalandaPartner LOYRA Abogados Law Firm


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