New Gambling Restrictions to be Implemented in Spain in 2020

Jan 09

The Spanish coalition government, which is composed of the Unidos Podemos and PSOE parties, has revealed plans for a new program that would include

“urgent regulation of gambling to prevent and curb gambling.”

The coalition has already pinpointed six measures that it believes would lessen the volume of gambling advertising and betting in Spain. It also plans to further control the advertising of retail and online gambling.

Gambling firms operating in the Spanish market are set to be subjected to the same advertising regulations that are in place for the tobacco industry. Spain introduced tobacco advertising controls in 2005 to stop such firms from partaking in sponsorship chances. The regulations also curbed how tobacco products could be advertised and promoted across popular mediums in the country.

New measures would be brought in by the coalition government that would bolster the self-awareness of gamblers in the country. It wants Spanish citizens to gamble in a healthy way and to anticipate, identify, and prevent the development of a gambling problem.

One of the group’s goals is to stop gambling facilitates from being able to open their doors before 10 p.m. It is also discussing the idea of banning gambling facilities from being located within a specific distance of schools.

Warning signs about the dangers of gambling will also have to be displayed at the entrances of gambling facilities. This would be identical to how cigarette packets have to show conspicuous warnings about the dangers of smoking.

The administration fees that the government gets from gambling companies will be going to “preventive, awareness, intervention, and control initiatives, as well as to repair the negative effects produced by the game activity.”

However, the coalition will not be working on these issues on its own. Gambling operators will be playing their part to help lessen the prevalence of problem gambling in Spain.

At the moment, Spain has the highest proportion of teenage gamblers in Europe. Between 2012 and 2017, online gambling participation rates have risen by a whopping 387%. These operators will be enlisted for the “development of information, prevention, sensitization, and reparation actions for possible undesirable effects derived from gambling activity.”

A number of calls have been made in the past to curb gambling advertising in Spain. A lot of lawmakers have pointed to Italy as an example to follow. It was in January 2019 that a ban was launched on all forms of gambling advertising in Italy, including sponsorship deals.

Talk of these restrictions does not come long after the Spanish gambling regulator decided to classify gambling addiction as a mental disorder. There will be new studies that would be conducted in the country to take a close look at the effects gambling addiction has on mental health.