New cooperation agreement between DGOJ and Autocontrol on gambling advertising


Publication of the new Agreement with Autocontrol regarding advertising, sponsorship and promotion of gaming activities at state level

New cooperation agreement between DGOJ and Autocontrol on gambling advertising
October 15, 2021

On October 14, the Official State Gazette (“BOE”) published the Resolution of October 6, 2021 issued by the Directorate General for Gambling (“DGOJ”) including the Agreement with the Spanish advertising self-regulatory organization (“Autocontrol”) on national advertising, sponsorship and promotion of gambling activities (the “Agreement”).

The Agreement is based on (i) the powers of both bodies under Gambling Act 13/2011, of May 27; and (ii) the self-regulation principle provided in Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 11 May 2005, concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market.

The Agreement’s main purpose is implementing a mutual cooperation framework between the DGOJ and Autocontrol. To foster this cooperation, both bodies assume various commitments discussed below.

See below an overview of DGOJ’s commitments:

  • Allowing the DGOJ to request information from Autocontrol: before starting an advertising control procedure, the DGOJ should be allowed to request information about whether an advertisement has been (i) approved after a prior consultation or Copy Advice ®; or (ii) subject to an out-of-court settlement before the Advertising Jury of Autocontrol (the “Advertising Jury”).
  • Allowing the DGOJ to request that Autocontrol start-ex officio-proceedings before the Advertising Jury: before any penalty proceedings, the DGOJ should be able to call on Autocontrol to bring-ex officio-an advertisement to the Advertising Jury. Autocontrol should then report the outcome of the proceedings to the DGOJ.
  • Good faith presumption of operators that have obtained a prior positive report from Autocontrol: during penalty proceedings, there will be a good faith presumption covering any operators who have obtained a positive report from Autocontrol during the prior consultation stage.
  • Allowing the DGOJ to request Autocontrol’s cooperation: the DGOJ may request Autocontrol’s cooperation in any matter related to advertising activities and fair advertising.

See below an overview of Autocontrol’s commitments:

  • General reporting requirement to the DGOJ: Autocontrol should keep the DGOJ updated on any gambling resolutions issued by the Advertising Jury.
  • Quarterly reports to the DGOJ: Autocontrol should report quarterly to the DGOJ on its prior voluntary control activities (Copy Advice ®) regarding gambling advertising.
  • Duty to respond to all requests from the DGOJ: Autocontrol must respond to all DGOJ’s requests for verifying the issuance and validity of Copy Advice ®.
  • Cooperation requests to the DGOJ: Autocontrol may request the DGOJ’s cooperation to issue opinions, studies, projects or resolutions related to gambling advertising.  
  • Prior consultation requirement for DGOJ’s public statements: Autocontrol must submit to consultation any DGOJ’s public statements on gambling advertising before publishing any resolutions by the Advertising Jury on these matters.

Both the DGOJ and Autocontrol may carry out as many dissemination, training or studying activities as they see fit. 

The Agreement also provides for creating a monitoring board, made up of two representatives from each body, aimed at: (i) seeking a correct implementation of the Agreement; (ii) advancing any necessary actions and measures to fulfill the common objectives; and (iii) proposing amendments to the Agreement.

Finally, the Agreement’s expected term is four years following registration in the National Online Registry for public Bodies and Cooperation Instruments, and it may be extended through an express addendum.

October 15, 2021