New rules and regulations are likely to arrive in Spain’s gambling industry soon. The changes, if approved, will impact not only casinos, but any location hosting gaming machines.
The first VP and spokesman of the government of the Spanish autonomous region of Navarre, Javier Remírez Apesteguía, announced this week that local government leaders support gambling reform. His comments were in response to proposals by the area’s two largest parliamentary groups, PSN (Party of the Nationalist Society) and Geroa Bai.
The two groups suggest an updated gambling law that would provide better separation between gaming venues and people at risk. It would also reduce the amount of advertising from the gambling and sports betting industries.
Stricter Gambling Controls Coming to Spain
The regulations, which would apply only to the Navarre region, set as a limit for the opening and proliferation of new gaming properties a minimum distance of 300 meters (984 feet) from educational and health centers. It will also apply to facilities that offer gambling addiction treatment and mental health services.
In addition, the measures include the use of remote controls on gaming machines in restaurants and bars. The devices are similar to those currently found on tobacco vending machines to control access. The remote controls are not accessible by consumers and can only be activated by an employee.
The inclusion of remote control blocking is to prevent access to the game by minors and individuals with gambling bans in place. The government hasn’t offered its strategy for addressing how businesses will differentiate between those who can and can’t gamble. However, plans are in place to introduce a master database in Spain of self-excluded individuals.
A Novel Approach to Violations
Moreover, the initiative aims to avoid sanctions in the form of an economic fine for those who do not have the necessary age to play and intend to transform these punishments into “socio-educational tasks or measures for the benefit of the community.”
For Apesteguía, the project is “in the line of action maintained by the Regional Executive that already began preliminary work” in October 2019 to change the regulations.
It is also part of a larger effort across the entire country to update its gambling laws and regulations. Spain has a relatively low percentage of problem gambling. It stands at less than 1% by recent reports, but tight regulations will help prevent the level from growing.
Authorized places, premises and establishments must be differentiated from bars and catering establishments. High-strength beverages may not be served or promotions related to alcoholic beverages may be advertised,” reads the project.
Additionally, the proposal prohibits any type of advertising by sports betting companies. The prohibition covers everything related to clothing, facilities or any type of competition. It adds that those who have some type of sponsorship cannot receive subsidies or public assistance.
In the event that authorities approve the project, the Government of Navarre will have eight months to carry out a study on the taxation related to gambling in the community.
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