Barcelona, Spain –The country’s gambling landscape is about to change as public concerns over the rise of young Spaniards hooked and gambling and online casino games are going out of hand.
Spain is relatively vocal with regards to gambling-related ads. The majority of commercials and banners feature popular celebrities promoting gambling and its services. But the issue of bookmakers appearing outside of schools and areas where there are minors present is recognized as the root cause of the problem.
As the country’s gambling landscape expands, the number of players (both online and offline) increases as well. According to a report, the number of gamblers in Spain reached just over 1.4 million in 2018. This number represents a 5.24% increase from the year before. Gross Gaming Revenue (GRR) in 2018 was recorded at around $755 million; an increase of 25.48% from 2017. The overall marketing costs were around $364 million; up 48% more than in 2017.
Communities in both Barcelona and Valencia are leading the pack with regards to tackling issues related to the country’s gambling addiction problems. The left-wing coalition government of Valencia recently approved a bill aptly named as the “Law of Gambling” on October 25. This law is focused mostly on the protection of minors. The law also outlines bookmakers’ responsibility to young people and problem gamblers by prohibiting their access to the store and its services.
Andalusia had plans to follow Valencia and Barcelona’s lead, after the Socialist Party (PSOE) wrote a proposal that would give bookmakers and gambling operators better control of who gets to access and avail their services. This would, in turn, promote prevention campaigns in universities and sports centers.
But, despite their efforts, the proposal was rejected after right-wing parties Vox and Cuidadans vetoed the idea.
In May last year, the Spanish Ombudsman appealed for the tighter implementation of gambling regulations. They proposed for all gambling ads to be completely prohibited from the media, with the state lottery being the only exception.
The Spanish government allegedly accepted the proposal so they can put these time restrictions on gambling ads in place. But, it remains to be seen whether they will entertain any of the Ombudsman’s other proposals.