The Council of Ministers approved the ‘Royal Decree on Commercial Information on Gambling Activities which Regulates Advertising in the Online Betting and Gambling Sector in Spain’, which will develop articles 7 and 8 of the ‘Law 13/2011 of May 27, regulating gambling’.

This rule introduces important reforms to the current online sports betting system and completely changes the existing landscape, leaving very little margin for online gambling operators to advertise their services.

Subsequently, the most relevant novelties will be detailed.

Main changes

  • Online gambling advertising is prohibited, both on television and radio, outside of the time period from one to five in the morning.
  • Advertising on the internet may only be carried out through the gaming operators’ own web portals or through their profiles on social media as long as these advertising messages are directed only to the followers of these profiles.
  • Sponsorship of betting companies in the names of sports teams or clubs, as well as on their jerseys is prohibited.
  • In the case of sports events broadcasted live, betting advertisements may only be displayed from 1 am to 5am on the stadiums. Furthermore, sports clubs cannot use names or brands of online gambling operators to identify their sports facilities.
  • Advertising by postal mail is prohibited in all its forms, while advertising by email is only valid when the consent of the recipient has been previously granted.
  • No person or character, real or fictional, meaningful or public may be used in any advertisements for bets that are broadcast during the allowed time period.
  • Welcome bonuses from gambling operators are prohibited.

When do these prohibitions come into force?

With regard to the prohibition of promotional bonuses and the regulation of online advertising, the measure will take effect on May 1, 2021.

Advertising campaigns with relevant people or characters may continue to broadcast until April 1,2021.

Finally, the rest of the contracts affected and not mentioned above will continue to be valid until August 2021, thus coinciding with the end of the sports season.

What will be the consequence of breaching the rule?

In the event of breach of the rules by online gambling operators, the sanctioning regime of ‘Law 13/2011 on gambling regulation’ will be applied. In addition, breach will be considered a serious violation that could lead to fines ranging from 100,000 to one million euros, along with the suspension of their activities in the country for a period of up to six months.

If the breach is committed by an audiovisual communication service provider, the sanction regime
provided in ‘Law 7/2010 of March 31 on general audiovisual communication’’ will apply.