Spain’s national competition authority, Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), expressed its support for the draft legislation for tighter online gambling regulation.
‘Correct Adaptation to the Principles of Good Regulation’
The CNMC, Spain’s authority that ensures markets from all sectors adhere to consumer and company standards, released a report related to the draft Royal Decree (PRD) proposed by the government in July last year in an attempt to introduce a safer gambling environment.
Following a period of public consultations, the PRD that includes limits on player loss and gaming time for each online casino playing session was introduced to the CNMC for assessment in October.
Stressing on the “reason of general public interest” the restrictions would be introduced, the CNMC outlined in its assessment the decree “does not present unjustified restrictions on competition” and falls within the category of a “correct adaptation to the principles of good regulation.”
The authority is adamant that there would be the need for support for operators, both technical and legal, in cases when they would be required to suspend play from gamblers who exhibit signs of excessive gambling.
There Is Still More to Be Done
The draft Royal Decree that has provisions for mandatory loss and time limits for each player’s casino session sets the threshold at 50% of monthly recommended losses, classifying each player above it as intensive and requesting the operator to restrict any bonuses on such player accounts.
The PRD also claims that while the gambling sector has been already subdued to intense regulation, there is still more that can be done to ensure a higher level of protection for players and people at risk of developing a gambling addiction. The decree highlighted the importance of “prevention of addictive behaviors, the protection of the rights of groups at risk,” as well as “the protection of consumers” in general.
The Spanish government has always been looking to be proactive in terms of problem gambling, being wary of the effects of gambling on the population, regardless of official data showing no signs of any such developments, placing the country among those European nations with the lowest gambling-related harm.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs launched a public consultation related to revamping the treatment support network for problem gamblers as part of the Decree Project that seeks to implement a fully functional regulatory framework for the treatment centers across all 17 autonomous regions in the country.