Spain to Discuss New Safe Online Gambling Regulations

The new regulation is part of a series of measures to promote a safer gambling environment in Spain. It comes after the government announced ad controls and bans on sport sponsorships last month.

The Measures Should be Implemented by Mid-2021

The new draft Royal Decree regulating online gambling in Spain will become subject to public consultation this week, the Spanish Minister of Consumption Affairs Alberto Garzón announced in a meeting with the Responsible Gaming Advisory Council yesterday. 

The Council brings together lawmakers, operators, academics and civil servants that provide input on responsible gaming practices. It consists of representatives of the national lotteries Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) and Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE), as well as operators and suppliers including Playtech, Tómbola, Paf and Luckia.

Garzón said that the new regulation aims to promote a safer online gambling environment for consumers and especially young people. The decree will elaborate standards for action, intervention, control, prevention, awareness-raising, and treatment that will let players take more responsible and informed decisions.

“This comprehensive vision that will allow the process to be completed successfully will require the collaboration of all stakeholders.”

Alberto Garzón, Minister of Consumption Affairs, Spain

Implementing the changes is one of the objectives of the Ministry for the year 2021 and includes the development of article 8 from Law 13/2011 of May 27, which deals with consumer protection and responsible gaming policies. The new law will look to ensure that operators have the necessary player data to secure a safer and more responsible environment. Likewise, it will extend the obligations of operators to share more information with players.

The Decree will emphasize existing safe and responsible gambling measures, with special attention to the individuals presenting risky behavior. The legislation will also focus on preventive measures related to the possible effects that inappropriate gambling practices can cause.

Ongoing Efforts to Create a Less Harmful Gambling Environment

The legislation comes after a year of continuing efforts by the Spanish government to curb the country’s gambling industry. Last month, Spain’s Council of Ministers introduced gambling advertising restrictions and threatened to impose fines between €100,000 and €1 million on entities that fail to comply with the regulation.

The announcement of the measures was followed by a statement from the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) to the Spanish Ministry of Consumption Affairs saying that the new regulations are in violation of the EU laws on these activities.

Jdigital, the Spanish operator association, supported the criticism and said the restrictions could have the opposite effect and boost illegal and unregulated gambling activities, this way causing harm to the groups it is trying to protect.

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