Along with the rest of the country’s gambling industry, Spain’s casino sector is subject to recently introduced marketing restrictions, which ministers say are second in severity only to Italy’s total gambling advertising ban.
The Spanish government introduced some of the toughest ad rules on the continent in response to the spread of COVID-19, with a nighttime curfew and land-based casino closures for much of 2020 and 2021.
Within more than 100 new regulations governing the advertising of gambling are rules meaning that gambling cannot be presented as a financial solution, use representations of money or luxury items, incite compulsive behaviours, encourage minors to play, promote bonuses of any kind or use phrases such as “bet now”.
Additionally, most Radio and TV adverts can only be broadcast between 1am and 5am.
Stadiums and other sport or entertainment facilities, as well as team names, cannot mention gambling and betting companies or brands.
The new coalition government has also expressed a desire to initiate further regulatory reforms, with consumer minister Alberto Garzón indicating he approves of the idea of a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling.
Online gambling in Spain continues to grow, with the market breaching €700m in revenue in 2019 for the first time.
Attempts to build an integrated resort casino in Spain have not been reignited since Melco abandoned plans to lead a consortium in Catalonia in 2017 and US firm Cordish Companies was rejected in its bid by the Madrid regional government.
Instead, each community designates its own gambling authority, but in the majority of cases, gambling authorities are associated with tax or administrative authorities.
Due to the country’s varying regulatory framework, self-exclusion programmes are organised at both national and regional levels.
At the national level, the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) maintains a self-exclusion register which is linked to gambling authorities in the autonomous communities.
Figures provided by the DGOJ in December 2015 showed that over 35,000 players have self-excluded at the national level.
Regional level authorities establish wager limits for casinos but limits for online gambling services are set at the national level by the DGOJ.
The Responsible Gambling Advisory Council, which was established in 2013 and is made up of a variety of industry representatives, assists the government to develop strategies that aim to combat and minimise the effects of problem gambling in Spain.
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old
Smoking Ban: YES
Terrestrial: Multiple licences, not capped. However, every region has a “master plan” on the number and locations of casinos. This plan is compulsory.
Online: Multiple licences, not capped but only available during controlled windows.
Terrestrial:Differs by autonomous community.
Online:Roulette, punto banco, blackjack, online slots, poker, soft games, bingo.
Terrestrial:Differs across regions.
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:
Website blocking is permitted in Spain and is carried out by the DGOJ, which can order internet service providers to block unlicensed operators’ websites. Advertising restrictions for unlicensed operators also apply.
Currency : Euro
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 10,18,741
Internet Penetration (Internet Users):76.2%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 108%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):33
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: May 2019