Spanish Minister Wants To Reintroduce Advertising Restrictions

April 26, 2024
A Spanish minister is seeking to reinstate parts of the restrictive advertising ban that the Supreme Court recently struck down.

A Spanish minister is seeking to reinstate parts of the restrictive advertising ban that the Supreme Court recently struck down.

Spain’s Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that several articles in Royal Decree 958/2020, which effectively banned most kinds of gambling advertising, overstepped the legal powers of royal decrees. 

Pablo Bustinduy, the minister of consumer affairs, is seeking to rectify that by reintroducing the banished articles of the royal decree through legal avenues that do have the proper authority.

“We are going to undertake a legislative initiative to restore these articles and to expand and strengthen the regulation of online gambling in Spain," said Bustinduy. 

He included mechanisms to verify age and restrict loot boxes in his forthcoming legislative initiative, but was vague about other particulars in his announcement to the press.

He highlighted his particular concern for youth, their penchant for loot boxes and the need to protect them under the law.

“It should be coming from an act,” Santiago Asensi, gambling expert and founding partner of Asensi Abogados, clarified. “Most of the things that the Supreme Court declared void were because they were not from the correct legislative tool. You cannot regulate with a decree, you can regulate with an act.”

Asensi is, however, doubtful that any changes are going to come into force any time soon as “to force this to happen, you need political stability, which is exactly what we don’t have right now in Spain”. 

Spanish President Pedro Sánchez has announced he is considering resigning in the wake of a corruption investigation surrounding his wife Begoña Gomez. He said he will make his decision public on Monday (April 29). If he steps down, there will be new elections. 

A silver lining, said Asensi, is that “this gives the industry the opportunity to negotiate things with the regulator, to have a consensus on the model we want to have on advertising”. 

As things stand, “nobody is moving”, he said.

Patricia Lalanda of Loyra Abogados was similarly unconcerned by Bustinoy’s announcement. 

“I guess he had to talk about ‘action’ but, given the instability of our government.  I don’t think any ‘radical’ legislative proposal will be triggered now,” she said.

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