Spain: News on the online gambling advertising code of conduct

Authors: Elisa Lorenzo and Lucia Signes.

On 14 November 2019, a proposal to amend the Self-regulation Code of Conduct on Commercial Communications for Online Gambling Activities has been agreed by the Self-Regulation Code of Conduct Joint Monitoring Commission (Comisión Mixta de Seguimiento del Código de Conducta sobre Comunicaciones Comerciales de las Actividades de Juego) which will enter into force for all adherent members on 15 January 2020. The updated Spanish version is available here.

Particularly, significant limitations related to bonuses and advertising promotions have been established in the draft amendment, including, among others, that bonuses or promotions may not be broadcast during the transmission of live sporting, horse-racing or other competitive event. Also, welcome bonuses used in commercial communications have been limited on most regulated games to the maximum amount of €200.

Likewise, according to the new wording of the Self-regulation Code of Conduct on Commercial Communications for Online Gambling Activities, commercial communications for bingo, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, fixed-odds sport and horse racing, slots and exchange betting in Spain may not include the presence of active athletes; nor may they be starred by people under 25 years of age or by celebrities who participate in children’s media spaces or whose activity focuses on minors. In addition, for audiovisual advertising, the responsible gambling logo and the prohibition of playing by minors under 18 logo shall have more visibility, as each advertisement may include a standardized full-screen warning at the closing of the advertising piece or, alternatively, a banner at the bottom of the image throughout the entire broadcasting of the advertisement.

The new proposal reinforces the current standards applicable for the advertising of online gambling activities with the aim to strengthen consumer protection, with special attention to minors and other vulnerable groups.