Safe New World: Despite Hopes for Compromise Operator Objections, Spain's New Regulation Model is Uncompromising in Consumer Protection

Lee R. - April 16, 2021

New more stringent regulation in Spain take effect next month to reduce gambling addiction.

New regulations are coming into Spain next month, as Spain's gambling regulator along with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs cracks down on the traditional mainstays for customer acquisition and brand recognition.

Blanket Bans Official

New total bans on team sponsorships and incentives for new players will force all operators in Spain to come up with new ways to attract users—with operators already queasy from 2020 figures indicating sequential decreases in active participants 29.4% in Q2 2020, and 25.3% year-on-year.

Trade Association Concerns

European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) claimed the sponsorship ban will negatively impact 41 of the 42 teams that make up La Liga, with clubs already strapped after losing up to €80 million in ad revenue from the Covid closures.

No Compromises

Those operators can now say goodbye to their bread-and-butter advertising on La Liga players shirts, with the curtain being brought down on a total of 35% (8 teams) featuring iGaming operators at the end of 2021 season.

History of Regulation

In 2011, regulation of Spain's 17 autonomous communities was centralised under one federal authority, the Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling (Direccion General de Ordenacioón del Juego) DGOJ.

Goals of New Legislation

The revamped goals established last January for Spain's new legislation in Spain as include increasing player awareness; encouraging healthy consumption of gambling products and preventing the onset of problematic games.

Revenues from Taxation

New operators in the market will pay a 20% tax on all stakes (gross gaming revenue), expected to garner millions for the Government budget. Players will be required to declare winnings over €2,500 and pay income tax on it – with losses deductible.

Shirt Ban Protects Minors

The protection of youth and the advertising bans are going hand in hand, with a new strict over-18s gambling policy complementing the Royal Decree on Advertising prohibiting gambling companies from appearing on shirts and being sponsored mentioned in stadium names.

Scope of Ad Ban

The general crackdowns include prohibition on gambling ad deals on the premises of sports competition; t-shirts or sports equipment.

No New Bonuses

Bonuses to new players are prohibited, including welcome bonuses, meaning operators cannot offer or leverage bonuses to attract new players.

Free Games Promotional Ban

Another popular reach out—the offering of free games, can now only be made available to registered clients.

Celebrity Image Ban

Celebrity images and names cannot be used in advertising gambling sites or services.

Broadcast Ad Ban

Ads for gambling through audiovisual media and during live sport events can only be broadcast from 1 AM to 5 AM.

Online Ad Protections

Ads on web pages or apps whose main activity offering of gambling products and information will be required to have mechanisms to prevent access by minors and to broadcast messages about safe play.

Social Media Limits

Ads broadcast in the form of audiovisual commercial communications on video exchange platforms including all social networks will be required to have mechanisms preventing commercial communications addressed to minors; mechanisms for hiding or blocking pop-up ads from their users; and mechanisms for controlling time slots.


No matter how much adaptation is necessary per model, all operators in Spain clearly need to prepare for what will invariably be significant changes to implement new official measures in Spain starting next month.

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