Spanish coalition pact outlines gambling reform as a ‘concrete directive’

Spanish news sources report that gambling incumbents are set to be hit with further restrictions and reforms as the PSOE minority government agrees to a ‘governing pact’, forming a socialist coalition with minority partner Podemos.

This weekend, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (PSOE) negotiated coalition terms with Podemos counterpart Pablo Iglesias, seeking to break through a political impasse which saw Spain hold two separate General Elections during 2019.

Despite Sanchez and Iglesias’ agreement, PSOE and Podemos will need to secure the support of pro-Catalan independence party Esquerra Republicana to form a majority in government. On Monday, Esquerra published a statement, detailing that coalition terms are being reviewed in the interest of ‘forming a pathway towards independence’.

Awaiting Esquerra’s decision, PSOE states that it has held back publishing full details of its agreed ‘coalition programme’ with Podemos, in which a new government will confirm tax increases on Spain’s highest earners, capital gains and corporate taxation, alongside an increase in workers minimum wage as the socialist coalition’s lead policies.

Having viewed PSOE and Podemos planned programme, Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that both parties have agreed to implement new ‘urgent measures’ governing the gambling sector, which will impact both retail and digital incumbents.

Detailed as one of the coalition programme’s ‘concrete directives’, PSOE and Podemos underline that they will introduce comprehensive monitoring of gambling interactions within Spain’s regulatory framework seeking to reduce gambling engagements across land-based and digital verticals.

Sanctioned as a federal enforcement, the coalition will instruct Spain’s autonomous communities to prevent gambling establishments from opening before 10pm. Furthermore, the government will seek for greater federal control on the opening of new gambling venues across Spanish communities.

As anticipated, PSOE and Podemos will sign-off on a decree reforming Spain’s advertising code, which will see the introduction of gambling specific measures bringing gambling marketing regulations in line with those imposed on the tobacco industry.

The coalition will sign-off on its advertising decree despite Spanish gambling incumbents agreeing to adhere to a new self-enforced ‘code-of-conduct’ introducing new marketing standards and lowering the volume of betting/gambling advertising.

Mirroring UK policies, El Pais reports that PSOE and Podemos are considering introducing a ‘management fee’ on online gambling operators to fund problem gambling support and treatment by Spanish health networks and further ‘repairing the damaging social effects produced by gambling’.

Closing Thursday, Esquerra issued a formal communication confirming that the party members would abstain from voting in Parliament, allowing Sanchez and Iglesias to take government.

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