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Fiona Simmons November 29, 2023 2 min read
Spanish Court Extinguishes Jdigital’s Appeal against the Royal Decree
The court explained that the advertising rules are not unconstitutional
Spain has rejected Jdigital’s claims that its new gambling ads regulations are unconstitutional. The online gambling trade association’s complaint was launched following the passing of the Royal Decree that imposes strict restrictions on ads.
The Royal Decree was passed in November 2021, introducing major changes to how gambling advertisement is regulated. The new rules set a narrow window for the airing of gambling ads, allowing operators to advertise only between 1 am and 5 am.
The decree’s ultimate aim is to protect the Spanish public from being constantly bombarded with ads that encourage them to gamble.
This controversial ban was critiqued harshly by supporters of the gambling industry who claimed that it would cause more harm than good. Arguing that problem gambling is already on the decline, Jdigital insisted that the ban will only slow down the growth of Spain’s gambling industry.
In addition, Jdigital believed that Spain had bypassed important constitutional procedures when introducing the measure. The association was also uncertain whether the Ministry of Consumer Affairs could introduce such changes without certain amendments to the gambling law.
As a result, the trade union launched a formal appeal, hoping to overturn the decree. Unfortunately for the association, its appeal was rejected.
Jdigital Lost a Long and Hard Battle
After years of legal trouble, Jdigital’s appeal was reviewed by the Constitutional Court and promptly rejected. The court pointed out that the Ministry had, in fact, secured necessary amendments to the gambling law prior to adopting the new advertising changes.
The Constitutional Court unanimously rejected Jdigital’s appeal, dealing a major blow to the Spanish gambling industry and, according to Jdigital’s previous claims, making Spain less attractive to international companies.
In the meantime, Spain’s openly anti-gambling Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, just exited politics. However, the industry should not celebrate yet as his successor’s stance on gambling is still unclear.
Garzón will be succeeded by Pablo Bustinduy who will step in as Minister of Social Rights, Consumption and Agenda 2030 – a new position that replaces the Minister of Consumer Affairs. Bustinduy has yet to talk about gambling in depth but has been accused of harboring extreme-left anti-capitalist sentiments.
While there is no clear indication that Bustinduy will be another adversary of Spain’s gambling industry, the industry fears that its hopes for a pro-gambling minister might have been dashed.