Spain is planning regulatory changes to tackle increasing gambling addiction and also ensuring better standards of compliance and consumer protection.
The European Gaming and Betting Association has welcomed Spain’s move to introduce new regulations but has said that it should be “balanced, proportionate and designed in such a way that they support rather than undermine the regulated market”.
With a change in the government in Spain, the new ruling party has confirmed that they have plans to introduce new regulations concerning the country’s gambling industry.
The government aims at making changes to ensure better consumer protection and is stricter compliance requirements for gambling advertising. It has also said that they may review the taxation structure for the gambling industry.
The EGBA in its statement has welcomed the decision to bring changes at the policy level. The country’s PSOE and Podemos parties which have formed a coalition government had outlined the program in a 50-page accord published before the elections.
Maarten Haijer, secretary-general of the European Gaming and Betting Association, explained: “In the past, we have seen, in various jurisdictions, the introduction of well-meaning consumer protection measures which had an actual counterproductive effect because they pushed online players towards unregulated, off-shore websites which exposes them to dangerous practices and a lack of legal recourse when their consumer rights and protections are being trampled on.
“The Spanish government should pay attention to this risk and ensure that new measures, which might be considered, are mindful of the need to ensure a high participation rate of players in the Spanish regulated market, rather than the offshore market.
“This is true particularly with respect to advertising, which is a vital instrument to direct players to the gaming and betting websites which are licensed and regulated Spain – and away from risky websites.
Gambling addiction in Spain has been on the rise. According to a study, Spanish teens are the most addicted to gambling when compared with their European counterparts.
There has been a popular resentment against the increasing gambling facilities which many see as another casue of social harms.