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Online Gambling Affiliates in Spain Get Around New Ad Restrictions

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Jun/20/2022

  • Restrictions include a ban on sports gaming company sponsorship deals

  • Advertisements can only be broadcast during the early morning hours

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Spanish online gambling affiliates raked in €22.7 million (US$23.9 million) this year as a result of new advertising restrictions that have resulted in less marketing spends by operators.

Sports sponsorship spending fell from €9.4 million (US$9.9 million) to €632,784 (US$666,384) due to an overall ban on these types of deals.

Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs  also imposed a limit on advertising to a time period typically reserved for infomercials: 1 am to 5 am. 

Gambling revenue in Spain was down year-on-year again in the first quarter of 2022, mostly a rsult of low sports betting margins, but the reduced advertising likely played a role. Sports betting revenue dropped a whopping 41% while new player accounts were down 56%.

An appeal filed by Jdigital, the Spanish online gambling trade association, against the restrictions was set to move forward.

Speaking to SBC late last month, Jdigital expressed optimism over the potential to remove the ban at some future date: “We positively value the decision of the Supreme Court that reinforces the position that the association has been holding since the approval of the Royal Decree on Gambling Advertising: such regulation could be an overreach of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

“At this point, and while still pending the final decision of the Supreme Court – and if applicable the Constitutional Court – Jdigital reaffirms the need to maintain an open and transparent dialogue between the gaming ecosystem in Spain and the regulator in order to promote fair and proportionate regulations.

“From Jdigital we hope that, similarly to what the Supreme Court has outlined, the freedom of enterprise recognised by Article 38 of the Constitution will return to the centre of open debates and this will result in effective rules to protect consumers and users and be fully compatible with a responsible and safe gaming market.”

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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