International edition
June 24, 2021

With more measures to protect consumers

Spain: Congress approved new gambling law

(Spain).- Spanish Congress approved definitely the new gaming law, with the amendments that have been incorporated to the text in the Upper Chamber including, among them, a wide range of measures to reinforce consumer protection, under-aged and people with gambling problems.

T

he gaming law bans operators to grant loans or any other type of financial assistance to people that want to gamble. The amendments to the law were incorporated in the Upper Chamber. That regulates for the first time all the gaming modalities, including Internet gaming or mobile gaming.
 
The main keys of the new law, and some numbers and essential data to understand the sector, which is growing and has been increasing in recent years (above all, Internet betting) are the following:

– The game was decriminalized in Spain in 1977.

-The norm regulates for the first time, on top of traditional gaming modalities (bingo or casino), the Internet and mobile betting.

-The law, on top of regulating the sector, wants to avoid gaming to be used for money laundering or to finance terrorism.

-A transitional period is established (until January, 1st, 2012) for companies to regulate (legalize) their situation and their sponsorship or advertising activities.

-The law strengthens the legal security of operators and consumers and under-aged protection, as well as the protection of people with gambling problems, legally unable to gamble, and those that have voluntarily asked to be excluded from gaming.

-The Council on Gaming Policies is created, an entity in which autonomous communities are represented.

-The National Gaming Commission will be the entity that will authorize, supervise and control this activity, and the final responsible of imposing the sanctions.
 
-Sanctions may reach 50 million euro for “very serious infringements”, among them, offering games without license.

-The law sets a new tax, which will be distributed completely among autonomous communities, except the charges on sportsbooks or state horse betting, which will continue belonging to the state.

-A percentage of the collection obtained in sportsbooks will be allocated to sports (its definite regulation will be set in the future Professional Sports Law).

– The business volume of traditional private gaming (bingos, casinos or live recreational machines) is around 30 billion euros.

– Those gaming modalities pay annually to Finance, in concept of “gaming taxes”, around 1.7 billion euros.

– Traditional private gaming generates around 100,000 direct employments.

– New online gaming modalities generated last year benefits of 315 million euros.

– Online gaming benefits have progressively increased during the last four years: 175 million in 2007, 201 in 2008, 264 in 2009 and 315 last year.

-Online gaming barely creates employments in Spain, because the companies that offer those services operate from localized services outside the country.

– 40,000 people have asked to be banned to have access to any type of gaming modality to avoid having gambling problems.

-Online games have “seduced”, during the last years, around 400,000 people in Spain, attracted, specially, by Internet sportsbooks and specific modalities, such as poker.

– Public gaming (National Lottery, Bono Loto, Primitiva and Sportsbooks) collected in 2010 around 10 billion euros, specially thanks to extraordinary Christmas draws (around 2,7 billion euros) and El Niño (around 700 million).

–30 % of the money collected each year by Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (around 3 billion euros) goes straight to the Treasury.

– LAE has already been transformed in a State Society and will open its capital in a 30%- to the private sector.

-The companies offering Internet games will have to use the domain ".es", to strengthen the supervision and the control of Spanish authorities.

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