Podemos sounds Spanish warning signal for betting leadership

Industry leadership will be monitoring the results of the Spanish General Election on Saturday 28 April closely, which could lead to severe ramifications for betting incumbents.

Last February, the Spanish Parliament rejected Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s PSOE minority government budget, forcing the PM to call for a snap election – Spain’s third in the past four years.

Spanish media indicates that Sanchez and PSOE will remain in power, politically manoeuvring to form a ‘razor-thin’ coalition government with Spanish ‘populist-socialist’ party Podemos.

Mirroring Italian counterpart 5Star, Podemos seeks to install a Spanish ‘civil contract targeting gambling ills’.  

Last week Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias published the party’s Election Pledge on Facebook, outlining a series of ‘forceful measures’ against gambling enterprises.

Published under the sub-title ‘Democratic Guarantees & Citizenship’, Podemos outlines the following anti-gambling measures it will seek to implement, if elected into power;

  • All licensed gambling establishments/premises to be prevented from opening before 22:00 hrs
  • Licensed gambling establishments/premises will be banned from advertising locally
  • Gambling establishments/premises will not be allowed to offer customer inducements and incentives – such as free food, beverages, prizes etc..
  • Enforcing local authorities to implement a stricter licensing code – capping the number of gambling premises per region.
  • Increasing taxes on gambling enterprises to fund Spanish mental health and addiction treatment centres.

Pablo Iglesias would post the following message on his Podemos Facebook page – “In our country there are some problems that are not talked about too much on television, but which affect people’s lives in a very painful way”.

“Today I would like to talk to you about one of those problems, which worries us a lot and which we will assume as a priority because it is something that is doing a lot of damage to many families in Spain. I am referring to the increase in betting locations in the neighbourhoods of our cities, especially in the most humble of our neighbourhoods.”

Last October, Podemos co-authored the rejected budget plan with PSOE, in which the parties outlined the introduction of a stricter Spanish advertising code on online gambling services.

At the time Iglesias stated that a new advertising code was needed in order to ‘treat betting like tobacco’.

Furthermore, the Podemos leader would criticise Spanish football leadership and La Liga for a ‘complete indifference towards betting sponsorships and advertising, which has inundated Spanish sports’.

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