Spain Tightens the Responsible Gambling Garrotte

Spain’s Markets and Competition watchdog, the CNMC, has tightened the noose on rogue gambling operators and toughened problem gambling safeguards in the country.

By reputation Spain has one of the lowest problem gambling rates in Europe.

And the CNMC—La Comisión Nacional de Los Mercados y La Competencia—is determined to hold its lock on the issue.

Back in March the Spanish Media Association (AMI) failed in its Supreme Court appeal bid to overturn a ruling, which banned gambling advertising across all mediums except betting websites and online sports platforms.

Now the CNMC, after three months of weighty consideration, has thrown its full weight behind government plans to further stiffen gambling controls.

Spain’s current coalition government, led by centre-left socialist leader Pedro Sánchez, wants to enforce mandatory loss and time limits for every online casino playing session.

Players should receive a minimum of one message every 30 minutes, detailing their game play and how much they’ve spent, the government argues. And summaries should also be collated and sent to Internet customers once a month.

Losses wrapped as wins should be outlawed. And punters should be classified as “intensive players”–and banned from receiving bonus wins–if they exceed 50 per cent of agreed weekly or monthly loss limits during play.

The CNMC says the proposed government legislation “does not present unjustified restrictions on competition [because] it is based on an overriding reason of general interest: public health in the form of prevention of gambling addiction.”

“[It] present(s) a correct adaptation to the principles of good regulation,” opined the competition watchdog.

Most importantly, the CNMC also argued that “significant” support should also be given to operators complying with the law and who did the right thing by suspending problem gamblers from playing.

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