Garzon warns of tougher Spanish gambling reforms  

Alberto Garzon, Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs, has warned licensed gambling incumbents to prepare for further drastic changes to the country’s gambling laws, which will focus on raising all-around consumer protections and operator conduct. 

Appointed last year by Spain’s coalition government to overhaul a fragmented gambling regime, Garzon underlined his ministerial duty in seeking to centralise the governance of gambling laws and protections across Spain’s autonomous communities.

The Minister directed his statement to Spanish news source Publico.es, reviewing the progress made by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs across a number of public interest matters and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting Spanish society.

Reviewing ‘an intense period’, Garzon noted the approval of the Royal Decree on Advertising as the Ministry’s most recognisable achievement, banning Spanish TV networks, digital media and football clubs from promoting gambling services.  

From next September 1, all this type of invasive advertising will disappear,” he said. “There will be no advertising in the stadiums, there will be no advertising on the shirts, there will be no celebrities promoting betting houses and games of chance, and there will be no advertisements on the radio, on television or in any type of advertising medium.” 

As the Spanish assembly enters its summer recess, Garzon warned that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs would return to publish its Phase 2 framework directives that will outline further federal changes to Spain’s gambling regime.

Garzon’s pledge follows the publication of a ‘decree project’, co-authored by his department and the DGOJ, outlining the regulator’s plans to establish ‘an optimal framework for safer gambling environments’.

Decree measures included a proposal that would require players to set individual loss limits during each wagering session applied across online casino and sportsbook verticals. 

The principal objective of phase-2 of Spain’s gambling reform will focus on the re-engineering of Spanish gambling’s RGIAJ player self-exclusion system and the development of a central player database managed by the DGOJ.  

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