Gaming Law amendment

Spain: Bill seeking to reinforce fight against fraud in sports betting receives preliminary approval

The plenary session of the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
Reading time 1:55 min

The plenary session of the Spanish Congress of Deputies has approved the ruling of a bill that seeks to modify the Gambling Regulation Law, in order to strengthen the control against possible frauds in sports betting, as well as to increase the protection of users against excessive gambling and to reinforce the cooperation between different autonomous communities.

Approved with 200 votes in favor, zero against, and 148 abstentions, the opinion of the Commission of Health and Consumption secured half sanction and will now pass to the Spanish Senate, where it will continue its parliamentary procedure. 

The legislative initiative, proposed by the Spanish Government, legally formalizes the Global Investigation Service of the Gambling Market (SIGMA), seeking to provide a technical, coordinated, and comprehensive response to fraudulent practices, which may result in administrative or criminal proceedings.

Along these lines, the approved text establishes that, in order to prevent the investigations of this service from being hindered, the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) "will restrict the rights of access, rectification, limitation, suppression, opposition, and portability with respect to the processing of data in the Service."

It is also detailed that the State Security Forces and Corps will have the status of "assignees" of the personal data provided to them by the DGOJ through this service. These institutions will be able to review the information on persons suspected of incurring "some type of fraudulent behavior or practice."

The bill also clarifies that the personal data processed by the service will not be kept for a period of more than one year from its collection.

In addition, the initiative has as one of its objectives the protection of minors and participants in games, as well as the prevention of addictive behaviors. In line with this, a new function of the DGOJ is established "to contrast the effectiveness of the measures on responsible or safe gambling required from operators, as a consequence of the different regulatory developments aimed at strengthening the protection of groups at risk."

In this regard, a section is added to article 21 of the 2011 Law, which incorporates the functions of the National Gaming Commission that of "protecting" the groups of players "at risk", assessing the effectiveness of the measures on responsible or safer gambling aimed at these groups to be developed by the gambling operators.

During the debate in Congress, the Plural, Republican, and Popular parliamentary groups proposed six amendments to the bill. However, all of them were rejected and the draft bill was approved as submitted by the Health and Consumer Affairs Commission.

Click here to access the approved draft bill by the Congress of Deputies.

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