May 30, 2023 3 min read


Gambling Ads Ban in Spain Continues to Raise Controversy

While new rules that seek to protect young adults from excessive gambling in Spain gain traction, the country's tough gambling advertising restrictions continue to raise concerns

Lawmakers in Spain seek to protect more consumers by overhauling the regulations related to gambling. And while this sounds like an admirable effort, comparison to other markets shows that the gambling sector in the country is set to be one of the most tightly regulated.

Earlier this week, the country’s Royal Decree on Responsible Gambling Environments, which seeks to protect young adults from excessive gambling, made an important step forward by securing approval from the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs, media reports revealed.

But another Royal Decree that also puts strict regulations is raising concerns at the same time. The Gaming in Spain conference discussed the topic involving Spain’s Royal Decree on Commercial Communications for Gambling Activities, a report released by SBC News reveals. The Royal Decree 958/2020, which became infamous as the advertising ban, continues to raise eyebrows and debate regarding its impact on the market.

The Royal Decree on Commercial Communication has slowed down the growth of the gambling industry in Spain.

Jorge Hinojosa, director general of the trade association JDigital

According to Jorge Hinojosa, the director general of the Spanish online operator association, JDigital, the advertising ban decree halted the growth of the market in the country. Moreover, he claimed that the Royal Decree on Commercial Communication made Spain “less appealing to operators.”

Hinojosa argued that advertising represents a key part of a sustainable gambling market. He said that this is because advertising can help direct consumers to licensed operators. This, in turn, allows those consumers to benefit from legal and safe gambling entertainment options, said Hinojosa.

The Negative Impact of the Ban Isn’t That Severe

While Hinojosa’s concerns are undoubtedly reasonable, not everyone agreed with his statement. Mikel Arana, DGOJ’s director general, acknowledged that the tough advertising regulations may be a bit controversial. However, he added that the ultimate goal of the country’s gambling regulator is to make the market safer.

DGOJ’s director also explained that the implementation of the Royal Decree hasn’t really halted the growth of the market. Arana said: “The size of the market in Spain before and after the Royal Decree on Commercial Communication is nearly the same.”

According to Arana, there hasn’t been a notable decrease in the number of new players. He added that even before the gambling advertising ban when ads aired on TV, there wasn’t an influx of new gamblers. Finally, Arana said that it can be assumed that the gambling market in the country is growing at a standard rate.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *