Madrid Local Government Pushes for Tighter Control on Gambling

The state of gambling regulation in Spain has been in flux since the pandemic began. Now, Madrid is pushing forward to introduce a new set of gambling rules as the Governing Council of the autonomous community passed new policies that will obligate gambling halls, casinos, and sports betting venues to meet specific standards when it comes to consumer safety and overall operational mandates.

Madrid Doubles Down on Gambling Regulation

The rules are yet to be promulgated in the Official Gazette of the Community but they will be focused on the protection of young consumers who may be tempted to play excessively or may have a predisposition for developing an addiction. A set of criteria has been set forward to ensure that gambling venues will operate in line with strict criteria.  

Moving forward, Madrid will want to see at least 300 meters of difference between individual betting and gaming shops, applicable to any new license holders. Existing ones will still not be obligated to relocate or move shop, but they will have to follow other rules outlined by the rules.

Gambling businesses would need to open at least 100 meters away from educational institutions, such as schools, universities, training facilities, and others. The rules also want to put the onus on gaming venues to control who enters their properties and under what pretext. The legislation creates new mechanisms to bar minors from entry into gambling venue floors at all and a self-exclusion program will have to be observed.

The Madrid Government is also clamping down on practices that put consumers at significant risks such as credit, cash, loan extensions, or other financial assistance that may end up harming consumers or lead to excessive gambling fueled over a short period of time.

The rules will also oblige gambling venues to bar people registered in the self-exclusion program from entry, including limiting their access to horse race betting kiosks and other forms of gambling entertainment.

Building a Safe Industry for Consumers in Madrid

Madrid is one of the jurisdictions in Spain where local government initiative has created safe gambling standards for consumers and businesses. This is necessary partly because of how expansive the gambling industry in the city and its jurisdiction is. There are at least 700 licensed gambling venues, with four casinos and 32 bingo halls.

The regional government has been actively working on improving control and monitoring of gambling establishments to ensure that venues are compliant with the law and that consumers are always protected. The local government also passed a law a few years back to use 0.7% of the tax collected from gambling to treat problem gambling and offer consultation to consumers.

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