Spain’s Council of Ministers Approves New Responsible Gambling Decree

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Spain’s Council of Ministers has approved the latest royal decree on gambling, bringing 30 new responsible gaming measures into law. The Royal Decree of the Development of Safer Gaming Environments had been proposed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and follows last year’s decree that introduced new advertising restrictions.

The decree has a notable focus on young people aged between 18 and 25, which the ministry says are more vulnerable to inappropriate messages about gaming. However, it includes measures for all gamblers.

Measures include the definition of risk profiles based on consumer spending. A player will be considered an intensive gambler if they accumulate a net loss of €600 (€200 for those aged under 25) over three consecutive weeks. There will be a range of requirements for dealing with such players.

Operators will have to send warning messages when they detect potentially harmful behaviour and must provide a monthly summary of gaming activity. Meanwhile, they will be prohibited from sending promotional material to such intensive players and they must not include them in VIP programmes.

Players with this risk profile will also be banned from using credit cards to gamble. If at-risk players do not respond to an operator’s attempt to communicate within 72 hours, the operator must suspend the player’s account.

Meanwhile, gambling operators will not be allowed to send promotions to any people aged 18 to 25 if they have not previously interacted with the business. Younger players must also be shown a message telling them that gambling at an early age is associated with an increased risk of developing unsafe gambling behaviour.

Other measures introduce new protections for those who request safer gambling restrictions on their accounts or register on the new national self-exclusion register.

The rules are expected to come into effect in around six months. Operators that fail to comply with the new measures could be fined up to €1m and could have their licence suspended for six months.

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