Spain’s new Consumer Affairs Minister puts gambling on notice

Spain’s new Consumer Affairs Minister Alberto Garzón has put the gambling industry on notice, warning incumbents that sweeping new measures will be announced ‘within two-to-three weeks’.

Garzón is the deputy leader of far-left Podemos party, which in January formed a coalition government with majority partner PSOE, in which both parties agreed on federal reforms to gambling as a ‘concrete directive’.

Interviewed by Spanish weekend current affairs programme ‘El Objetivo’, Garzon underlined the coalition’s stance on gambling, stating that federal measures were needed to protect Spanish communities from the ‘extremes of gambling’.

Taking up the remit of overseeing gambling regulations, Garzón emphasised that Spain needed new federal measures establishing legislative ‘coordination between Spain’s autonomous communities’.

Podemos deputy underlined that autonomous frameworks had been deficient in regulating critical components of gambling, related to marketing, protecting minors, vulnerable consumers and monitoring gambling establishments.

Garzón brand Spain’s advertising code, as being in a ‘state of chaos’ with regards to regulating gambling marketing, an initiative that the PSOE-Podemos party will directly fix with the inbound federal approval of a new ‘Royal Decree on Advertising.

Further legislative deficiencies saw Garzón criticise disjointed autonomous frameworks which had allowed minors to enter gambling establishments without any consequences.

Confirming inbound sweeping changes to Spanish gambling laws, PSOE-Podemos have transferred regulatory oversight on the betting industry to  Garzón Consumer Affairs Ministry.

Speculation of enforcements is wide-ranging, with the PSOE-Podemos government citing that Spanish gambling is need of ‘comprehensive monitoring’.

Having been allowed to review PSOE-Podemos ‘coalition programme’, newspaper El Pais reported that a government pact indicated that Spain would implement a ‘management fee’ on gambling funding problem gambling treatment by Spanish health networks.

Further market developments, saw FACUA, Spain’s independent consumer affairs agency advise PSEO-Podemos to ‘replicate UK government measures’ urging coalition leadership to implement a ban on credit card transactions.