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Spanish media challenge ad regulations in draft gaming law

28th February 2011 10:13 am GMT

With Spanish media joining forces to criticise the advertising regulations contained in the country’s draft gaming law, the Spanish government on Friday took the step of submitting the draft law to the European Commission while at the same extending the deadline for lawmakers to submit amendments to the law until March 2nd.

The notification to the EC places the draft law under a three-month standstill period ending 26th May, but Spanish lawmakers now have until March 2nd to submit amendments to the law in parliament.

One of the amendments already being called for concerns advertising regulations contained in the draft law.

Spain’s Association of Private Media Companies says that the draft law assigns administrative and fiscal responsibilities to the media “which do not make sense from a legal perspective” and which “restrict ads in an arbitrary manner”.

Under the draft law, advertisements for unlicensed operators carry a fine of between €100,000 and €1.0m, payable by the media. The law also states that if an online gaming advertiser fails to meet its tax obligations,  the advertiser and the media will be jointly liable.

The association has contacted the first deputy prime minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, urging him to incorporate appropriate amendments to the law during the parliamentary process to address their concerns.

The association is a grouping of the Asociación de Editores de Diarios Españoles (newspapers), the Asociación Española de Radio Comercial (commercial radio), the Asociación de Revistas de Información (magazines), and the Unión de Televisiones Comerciales Asociadas (Commercial TV).

Another aspect of the law which the association wants amended is the restriction on advertising in the time period between enactment of the law and the issuance of licences. The association says that any delay in licensing online gaming operators following enactment of the law will significantly impact Spanish media due to loss of revenues.

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