Spanish regulators launch ‘Decree Project on Safer Gambling Environments’

Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs has published its draft framework of a ‘decree project’ aiming to establish ‘safer gaming environments’, and further consumer gambling safeguards as a federal mandate governing the gambling sector.

The project’s foreword saw the Ministry and gambling regulator DGOJ outline comprehensive protective measures that are required to modernise Spain’s Gambling Law of 2011.

According to the Ministry, Spanish gambling requires an ‘optimal framework’ to protect consumers of all ages and backgrounds, in addition to new rules enforced on licensed operators to improve the monitoring of customers as a means of improving reporting on gambling disorders across Spain’s autonomous communities. 

The draft framework has been divided into three policy areas: informing stakeholders on the requirement of new safeguards; the duties and obligations of licensed operators; and the protection of consumers against the gambling risks of intensive play, psychological disorders, addiction, and underage gambling.

Furthermore, the decree project cited that a regulated gambling marketplace must ensure consumers maintain the rights to track their gambling spend/activity and allow players to comprehensively self-exclude from all gambling businesses.

Spain’s licensed incumbents must therefore comply with a ‘safety-first approach’, in which no business can endorse a customer to spend more money.  

New safety measures saw the project endorse that online casinos’ be required to ensure that players set a ‘net spend limit on each wagering session’ lasting a minimum of 24 hours.

For sports betting, customers will be required to set a ‘deposit and betting loss minimum spend’, before being able to place a wager and activate their accounts.  

Following each online session, licensed operators will be required to send customers reports detailing their spend activity and time-spent gambling.

Gambling websites and mobile apps will have to feature a link with info about safer gambling (under the name ‘juego más seguro’) on their home screens or main menu.

Further safeguards will require that all licensed operators provide a dedicated Spanish language helpline, with staff trained to DGOJ approved standards.

Players deemed as ‘high-risk’ will not be allowed to wager with the credit cards or be offered any form of bonus type incentives.   

Meanwhile, mirroring the UK, the project states that ‘young customers’ cannot be treated as VIP players and must further be targeted with additional messages outlining gambling risks.

The protection of Spain’s safer gambling environments will be underpinned by the establishment of a shared self-exclusion registry operating across Spain’s 17 autonomous communities.  

Last month, DGOJ Secretary General, Mikel Arana, was granted a cooperative approval to re-engineer Spanish gambling’s RGIAJ player registry system, which will come under the central management of the DGOJ.

As stands, Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs will aim for the project to be certified as a ‘Royal Decree on Safer Gambling Environments’, with the mandate aiming to be carried into law by July 2022. 

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