May 29, 2023 3 min read


Spain Strengthens Gambling Regulation Laws to Protect Young Adults

New rules that seek to better protect young customers from gambling harm received approval from Spain's Ministry of Consumer Affairs

Online gambling activities have seen a significant increase in the last few years. Some gamblers switched from retail to online gambling due to the pandemic and land-based closures. Others found how easy it is to access a casino or place a sports wager from the comfort of your home by only using a smartphone. Amid the growth of online gambling activities, concerns related to harm started to emerge.

In Spain, the government sought to protect young adults, between the age of 18 and 25, by approving a new Royal Decree on safer gambling. The approval of the “Royal Decree on Responsible Gambling Environments” came back in March. However, a new report released by GhanaBusinessNews explained that the Royal Decree has now received a green light from the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

The enactment of the Royal Decree means that it will be applied to Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, strengthening further the protection for young adults from gambling. For the new rules to be implemented, a six-month period is needed after they are published in the country’s Official State Gazette. Still, due to the complexity and technological changes, some of the rules may be implemented within a period of 12 months.

The new rules mark an important step for the country as they make its gambling regulation one of the strictest on the Old Continent. Opponents of the new rules such as the Spanish online operator association, JDigital, warned that the framework becomes one toughest in Europe. Additionally, the organization claimed that the rates of problem gambling in the country are decreasing.

Changes to Gambling Regulation to Protect Young Adults

But what exactly can be expected from the upcoming changes to the gambling market in Spain? Overall, there are 30 different changes to the regulation. One of the major changes includes a personalized approach for people who have been identified as at-risk gamblers. Such consumers will be approached with a personalized message that informs them about their monthly gambling activities and requires a response within 72 hours. If customers fail to respond within that timeframe, their accounts will be suspended.

Other restrictions will involve monitoring losses. Users under the age of 25 that lose a sum greater than €200 ($213) over a period of three weeks will be classified as intensive gamblers. Similarly, a threshold of losses of €600 ($642) will be applicable for customers above the age of 25, which will also be given the same risk profile. Ultimately, this classification seeks to help determine the consumers who spend more than the threshold and if necessary, engage with them.

Strict rules will also be applied for gambling with credit cards, which will be forbidden. This isn’t an uncommon regulatory solution, given that gamblers can quickly pile up a significant debt when using credit cards. Among other changes, gambling operators would not be allowed to approach with marketing communication anyone under the age of 25 that hasn’t previously engaged in gambling activities.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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