Spain’s Podemos urged to replicate the credit card ban of the UK

Podemos deputy Alberto Garzon has been urged by the Spanish independent consumer watchdog FACUA ‘Consumidores en Acción’ (‘consumers in action’) to implement a ban on credit card betting similar to that of which has been introduced by the UK Gambling Commission. 

Incentivising heightened scrutiny of Spain’s gambling sector, PSOE-Podemos has relocated full regulatory oversight from the Finance Ministry to Garzon’s Consumer Affairs department.

Garzon is set to serve as Spain’s Minister of Consumer Affairs within the newly established PSOE-Podemos left-wing coalition government.

Issuing a statement, FACUA offered its support to the coalition’s federal commitment to implementing Spain’s new Royal Decree on advertising, establishing a new federal code to regulate gambling marketing alongside further opening restrictions on retail gambling enterprises.

However, FACUA recommends that the coalition follow its ‘positive steps’ by implementing a federal ban on credit wagering, further protecting Spain’s ‘vulnerable consumers from falling into debt’.

FACUA advises Garzon’s department to follow the precedent set by the UKGC, replicating a ban on all credit card transactions across all gambling verticals except non-remote lotteries.

The group stated: “The association asks the government to follow the example of the United Kingdom, which has just approved this measure of protection for the most vulnerable people, that aims to minimise risks to consumers by preventing them from accumulating debts due to gambling, making it the only country in our region that restricts the use of credit cards in this industry.”

Gambling reform was underlined as a ‘concrete directive’ of PSOE and Podemos ‘coalition pact’, which emphasised to media that a new Spanish government would introduce comprehensive monitoring of the gambling industry within a new regulatory framework.

UK gambling legislation will be analysed by Spain’s new government, which has instructed the Consumer Affairs Department to consider introducing a ‘management fee or duty’ on Spanish online gambling incumbents to fund the nation’s addiction support networks.

Despite inbound regulatory changes, Spanish online gambling incumbents have committed to work under the terms of the new ‘code of conduct’ established by trade body Jdigital, which introduces a number of new measures lowering the ‘industry’s advertising volume’.

Spain’s online gambling sector states that it will implement its ‘auto control’ measures regardless of the coalition’s judgement.