Jdigital orders Supreme challenge against Royal Decree federal enforcement

Spanish online gambling trade association Jdigital has confirmed that its appeal against the gambling amendments of the ‘Royal Decree on Advertising’ has been accepted by Spain’s Supreme Court.

Representing the interest of Spain’s licensed online gambling incumbents, Jdigital takes its existing dispute with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to Spain’s highest-ranking law court.

The trade association maintains that the decree will impose disproportionate blanket measures which will leave ‘gambling consumers defenceless and unprotected’, should advertising restrictions be federally enforced across Spain.

Jdigital reiterates its previous market warning that advertising of licensed online gambling operators has been the only measure provided by existing gambling laws to protect the regulated market against unlicensed (black market) threats.

“The recently approved regulation at the request of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is inconsistent with the reality of the online gambling sector in Spain,” Jdigital declared in its statement.

“Clearly disproportionate, the Decree will not only be ineffective in solving the problems that the coalition government parties have been denouncing, without data, for years but will most likely aggravate them, contributing to a growth of the illegal market not subject to supervision.”

In its appeal, Jdigital states that it shares the mutual ambitions of establishing an ‘effective regulatory framework for gambling advertising across Spain’.

Prior to the Decree being sanctioned by the Spanish government, Jdigital and its 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 maintains that the terms of its advertising resolution would not only safeguard Spain’s regulated market but further strengthen the supervisory capacity of the General Directorate of Gambling (DGOJ).

Spain’s Supreme Court will now judge two separate appeals against the Royal Decree on Advertising – as last week Spanish media and broadcast trade union AMI disputed the Decree’s ‘discriminatory timetable.

Lodging its appeal, the AMI stated that Spain’s traditional broadcasters (TV, radio and press) had been ‘economically hindered’ by the Decree’s timetable enforced by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

Forced to abide by Decree measures from 1 May, Spain’s traditional broadcasters would be denied a key advertising period featuring the UEFA Euro 2021 Championships and the Tokyo Olympics.

The AMI deemed the enforcement to be discriminatory, as the Ministry of Consumer Affairs had allowed digital media incumbents until 1 August to comply with its new federal laws.

Approved last November, the federal enforcement of the Royal Decree on Advertising was delayed as the government ordered the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to allow a ‘grace period’ for football clubs and media owners fulfilling existing contracts.

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