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

Content creators have come under fire recently, especially those who create gambling-related content. They can expect more restrictions to come, and Spain is taking a giant step forward. All content creators are now 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 a contact point available to their viewers through which they can exercise their right to complain and reply. This is in accordance with established legal guidelines in the country that require 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 protection. 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 initially was to cover all facets of AV social media, but had a lot of bugs in its language.

As a result, before preparing the updated list, 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, which seeks to achieve  what the previous version omitted.

Accordingly, streamers will need to provide details about both the provider itself and the service in their registration. Content creators must include their name and surname or, where appropriate, name or 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 also have to indicate whether they are public or private.

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 Internet. In addition, it delineates open or paid and domestic or international content.

Now As Important As Netflix

This law previously emphasized streaming services, such as 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 as the commercial entities.

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 The CNMC is now exploring how to address the segment and is preparing draft guidance.

The comparison with the rest of the AV platforms will also require content creators to be more responsible. They will have to ensure that certain content, such as gambling, is for people over 18 years of age, that its content does not incite hatred or that it helps reduce the consumption of fatty foods and drinks by minors.

This is the same policy currently in place for TV and radio, which 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.

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