Spanish consumer watchdog instructs coalition to replicate ‘UK credit ban’

Spanish independent consumer watchdog FACUAConsumidores en Acción’ (‘consumers in action’) has advised Podemos deputy Alberto Garzon to implement a ban on credit card wagering across all gambling verticals.

Garzon is set to serve as Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs within the newly established PSOE-Podemos left-wing coalition government.

Seeking closer scrutiny of Spain’s regulated gambling marketplace, PSOE-Podemos has transferred full regulatory oversight from the Finance Ministry to Garzon’s Consumer Affairs department.

Issuing a statement, FACUA backs the coalition’s federal commitment to implementing Spain’s new Royal Decree on advertising, establishing a new federal code to regulate gambling marketing alongside further opening restrictions on retail gambling enterprises.

However, FACUA recommends that the coalition follow its ‘positive steps’ by implementing a federal ban on credit wagering, further protecting Spain’s ‘vulnerable consumers from falling into debt’.

FACUA advises Garzon’s department to follow the precedent set by the UKGC, replicating a ban on all credit card transactions across all gambling verticals except non-remote lotteries.

“The association asks the government to follow the example of the United Kingdom, which has just approved this measure of protection for the most vulnerable people, that aims to minimise risks to consumers by preventing them from accumulating debts due to gambling, making it the only country in our region that restricts the use of credit cards in this industry,” it said.

Gambling reform was underlined as a ‘concrete directive’ of PSOE and Podemos ‘coalition pact’, which detailed to media that a new Spanish government would introduce comprehensive monitoring of the gambling industry within a new regulatory framework.

UK gambling legislation will be assessed by Spain’s new government, which has instructed the Consumer Affairs Department to consider introducing a ‘management fee or duty’ on Spanish online gambling incumbents to fund the nation’s addiction support networks.

Despite inbound regulatory changes, Spanish online gambling incumbents have committed to work under the terms of the new ‘code of conduct’ established by trade body Jdigital, which introduces a number of new measures lowering the ‘industry’s advertising volume’.

Spain’s online gambling sector states that it will implement its ‘auto control’ measures regardless of the coalition’s judgement.

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