n January 20, at night, La Sexta broadcast an interview between journalist Ana Pastor and Spain’s Minister of Treasury María Jesús Montero on the TV show El objetivo.
During the talk, Montero delved into the measures included in the government’s proposed budget for 2019. She explained that they are “drafting a section to regulate some online gambling activities”, which will be disclosed within the next few weeks. The Decree on Online Gambling Advertising —Decreto sobre la Publicidad del Juego Online— will be discussed in the year’s first half, and could become effective in June.
Online gambling ads regulation has been pending since the passing of Spain’s Gambling Act, and there hadn’t been news on the matter up to Montero’s interview.
In December, Juan Espinosa García, head of the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling, had explained the reason to Yogonet: "Gambling advertising is the link between the industry and society, so the future of this activity relies heavily upon its success. Regulations should a have a global scope, meaning all aspects involved should be dealt with, from the advertisements’ content to their implementation."
The head of Spain’s agency “Government Delegation for the National Drugs Plan”, Azucena Martí, has also shared her views on the matter at an interview published last week on newspaper 20 minutos: "There is a Decree which should be issued anytime soon. Online gambling falls within the purview of the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling, a commission accountable to the Ministry of Treasury, with which our communications are fluid, as we possess the data and the knowledge of the population’s reactions towards advertising. They are drafting a Decree on Online Gambling Advertising. The operation of these companies in our territory should also be regulated.”
Martí made it clear that she was not able to provide many details as the matter falls within the scope of the Ministry of Treasury, but she did say that "things as basic as the advertisements’ time need to be regulated and I know they will be. We do not have information on problem gambling numbers, not for the land-based nor the online gambling modalities. Addictions are evolving so we have to keep monitoring and creating resources to find out problem gambling's consequences in an objective manner, relying on figures to develope new strategies. We are currently working on indicatiors that will help us know the number of problem gamblers who are being treated. That is the first step to discover the consecuences it has on our population.”