Jdigital, Spain’s online gambling trade association, has issued a ten-point response criticising the ascent of the ‘Royal Decree on Safer Gambling Environments’ by the Spanish government.
On Tuesday the Decree received its federal approval by Spain’s Council of Ministers, which in turn will see Spanish licensed operators adopt Europe’s most stringent compliance and KYC rules to protect underage and vulnerable consumers.
Endorsed as part of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the ongoing transformation of the gambling market, Spanish operators have been granted a year to implement new measures related to customer management, monitoring, compliance, KYC, risk management and further care-of-duty provisions.
Representing Spain’s licensed operators, Jdigital stated that its members have always promoted “best practices promoting safer gambling and responsibility”. Yet the Decree will see Spain take on a “hyper-regulated environment for gambling” to the detriment of consumers.
The trade body challenged the Ministry of Consumer Affairs’ assessment that the Decree is required to reduce problem gambling rates – as data from the National Monitor for Drug Addiction outlines that “gaming activity by players is moderate, controlled, and responsible”.
During the evaluation process of the Decree, Jdigital made suggestions to improve the regulation which were included in the final draft. However, it expressed concern over certain aspects of the decree, such as “age limitations and player economic limits”, which do not take into account the individual circumstance of each customer.
In 2023, the Decree will require Spanish operators to undertake wholesale transformations to be in-line with the “technical complexities of new laws” that require adequate time to implement the desired controls and systems in place to monitor and record-keep “player risk profiles”.
As such, Jdigital has stated that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs must ensure full transparency on the technical and compliance changes and controls that it has demanded on Spanish operators.
The trade body underlined that the Ministry must be able to provide a definitive meaning on the “main risk markers associated with gaming activity”.
“Jdigital will continue to extend a hand to the regulator to address the most effective way possible the creation of safe environments for online gaming in Spain, as it has done so far.
“Now that the legislature is coming to an end and the activity of operators has already been regulated to limit it, from the industry, we ask the regulator that we can work on the opportunities that do exist to improve the gaming market and investment in Spain.”