No Mas… Spain moves forward on Ombudsman’s blanket advertising ban

Spanish gambling incumbents have been served their dreaded news, as national media reports that the PSOE minority government will accept ‘all recommendations put forward by Spain’s Civic Ombudsman on limiting gambling advertising.

Despite holding no constitutional majority, the PSOE government will begin drafting a ‘Royal Decree’ which will establish new gambling advertising restrictions to be implemented as a federal law across all Spanish provinces.

Spanish media reports that the Ombudsman’s advertising recommendations have been accepted by the Ministry of Finance, which will order Spain’s governmental departments to enforce new responsible gambling measures.

The update, sees the Spanish government enforce the Ombudsman’s recommended ‘toughest stance on gambling advertising’, which in May urged the government to sanction an outright blanket ban on all advertising gambling products/services across all media platforms.

Once drafted the decree will be pushed across Spain’s autonomous communities, banning all forms of gambling advertising expect for national/regional lotteries and ONCE (national disability/blind charity) wagering services.

In its recommendations, the Ombudsman states that Spanish lawmakers should form a specific legislative framework on provisions regulating online gambling operators and their digital advertising inventories, separating digital advertising formats from traditional channels.

Spanish betting leaders had criticised the Ombudsman review of gambling advertising, stating that its recommendations had been based on a ‘misinformed agenda’, which treated licensed incumbents as if they were black-market actors.

Facing political pressure and media scrutiny, the majority of Spanish operators had accepted that a new Spanish government would move to implement a stricter advertising code, however, all industry stakeholders rejected the Ombudsman recommended action plan

The Spanish Ministry of Finance has informed the media and stakeholders that all criteria on a future gambling advertising system and controls will be revealed shortly, as soon as it receives oversight from autonomous governments.

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