Jdigital offered Supreme Court encouragement in fight against Spain’s gambling advertising laws

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Jdigital, Spain’s online gambling trade association, has issued a positive update in its quest to remove the federal ban on gambling advertising across the country’s 17 autonomous communities.

Last November, the Royal Decree on Advertising imposed a federal ban which has forced Spanish companies to obey a 1am-5am window for the broadcasting of gambling adverts, while the Ministry of Consumer Affairs also imposed a blanket ban on gambling sponsorships across all sports, except for those promoting state-owned lottery partnerships.

Before the ban came into force, JDigital, alongside Spanish media counterpart AMI, launched an appeal against the decision, criticising the ‘disproportionate manner’ of it and arguing that a number of Decree restrictions had infringed upon “Article 53 of the Spanish Constitution regarding the guarantees of fundamental rights and freedoms”.

But, speaking to SBCNews, Jdigital claims that the Supreme Court “has summoned parties to make allegations on the possible filing of a question of unconstitutionality before the Constitutional Court”. 

Beyond constitutional boundaries, Jdigital and AMI had appealed against the Decree, outlining that it was an ‘ineffective solution’ imposed federally on autonomous communities.

The trade bodies rallied against the Ministry of Consumer Affairs’ judgement that the Decree was needed as a social safeguard to protect vulnerable consumers and younger audiences.

Prior to the Decree being adopted, Jdigital’s trade body members, representing 80% of Spain’s online gambling market, had agreed to comply with a new code of responsibilities, significantly reducing advertising exposure across all mediums.

Jdigital told SBC: “We positively value the decision of the Supreme Court that reinforces the position that the association has been holding since the approval of the Royal Decree on Gambling Advertising: such regulation could be an overreach of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

“At this point, and while still pending the final decision of the Supreme Court – and if applicable the Constitutional Court – Jdigital reaffirms the need to maintain an open and transparent dialogue between the gaming ecosystem in Spain and the regulator in order to promote fair and proportionate regulations.

“From Jdigital we hope that, similarly to what the Supreme Court has outlined, the freedom of enterprise recognised by Article 38 of the Constitution will return to the centre of open debates and this will result in effective rules to protect consumers and users and be fully compatible with a responsible and safe gaming market.”