Gambling Content Creators Will Have to Register Under New Law in Spain

Posted on: April 18, 2023, 03:47h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2023, 02:55h.

Content creators have come under fire recently, especially those who create gambling-related content. As a result, they can expect to face new regulations in Spain, as content creators will be required to register with the government.

The Spanish flag flies on the Constitutional Court in Madrid
The Spanish flag flies on the Constitutional Court in Madrid. The country is introducing new rules for gambling content and other creators. (Image: Reuters)

The National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC, for its Spanish acronym) wants streamers to make it possible for their viewers to contact them. That’s so they can exercise their right to make complaints and reply to individual posts. This is in accordance with established legal guidelines in the country that requires all businesses, regardless of activity, to readily offer a standardized complaint form.

The goal is also to promote greater transparency in audiovisual content, and subsequently, improve consumer protections. The new CNMC guidance includes “users of special relevance” on video exchange platforms and covers streamers, bloggers, YouTubers, influencers, and more.

Free Reign Exits Social Media

The CNMC, following public consultation, created a new Registry of Audiovisual (AV) Communication Service Providers. It was initially designed to cover all facets of social media postings. But its language wasn’t clear.

As a result, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation launched a public consultation at the end of December. It targeted a draft Royal Decree — the General Law on Audiovisual Communication — that will establish the organization and operation of the new registry that aims to address concerns omitted under the previous law.

Accordingly, streamers will need to provide details about the provider itself and the service in their registration. Content creators must include their name and surname, or where appropriate, their name, company name, and nationality. They also have to provide a tax identification number if they’re Spanish, or a foreign identity number if they’re a foreign national with Spanish residency. They must also indicate whether they are a public or a private concern.

The law defines an AV service provider as a “person who has effective control over the selection of content.” Within the classification, the content is classified by the technology where they broadcast – radio, TV, or TV over the internet. In addition, it delineates open or paid and domestic or international content.

As Important as Netflix

This law previously emphasized streaming services like Netflix or Movistar, or commercial content, such as a company’s YouTube or Instagram channel. The updated version will ensure that anyone generating an income through content creation is held to the same standards imposed on the commercial entities.

Podcasters are also coming under scrutiny, though regulations related to their content have not yet been clarified. Spain’s AV Law of 2010 already introduced some regulations, but the recent rise in the popularity of podcasts will lead to more oversight. The CNMC is now exploring how to address the segment and is preparing draft guidance.

The new regulations will also require content creators to be more responsible about the content they produce. They will have to ensure that certain content, such as gambling, people over 18 years of age can’t access the content and that it doesn’t incite hatred. The content also has to be free of suggestions that the included products or services can reduce the consumption of fatty foods and drinks by minors.

This is the same policy currently in place for TV and radio. This implies that social media is now on the same level as conventional broadcast methods. What the CNMC and the Spanish government haven’t said, however, is what will happen to those who violate the norms.