As Spain moves closer to its deadline for the decree project to come into force, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs announced an important step in the right direction. It recently launched a public consultation to move forward with upgrades on the country’s gambling addiction treatment network.
All 17 Spanish regions will implement regulatory protocols in this regard, which fall in line with the Ministry’s plans of safer gambling for all.
In July 2021, the Ministry announced its goal of establishing a safer gaming environment for the Spanish gambling industry. They recognised the need for a holistic regulatory framework to best serve the country’s citizens and protect those vulnerable to gambling harm. At the time, the Ministry set its deadline for July 2022.
Safer Spanish Gambling
Part of the public consultation includes a request from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to the Spanish people. The body seeks guidance from the public on solving the problem of the lack of cohesion within their network for treating gambling addiction. The Ministry’s goal is to lay a foundation for an optimal support network for at-risk gamblers.
The country set its sights on this nationwide revamp in January 2020, when its left-wing coalition comprising the ruling PSOE and minority Podemos first highlighted the fragmented nature of the network. The group tasked the Ministry of Consumer Affairs with the responsibility of enforcing radical changes in the gambling sector.
They launched the public consultation on 4 January, which goes hand in hand with the decree project’s plans for new safer gambling laws, set to become federal mandates once implemented. The support network will share and promote scientific knowledge on the effects of problem gambling on helping health agencies throughout Spain combat gambling addiction.
All seventeen of the nation’s autonomous communities form part of the network, and regional agencies expect support from the national government. Each of the regions will develop gambling research, education, and treatment (RET) frameworks suited for their citizens.
Gambling Tax Footing the Bill
With the outline of their decree project, the Ministry expressed how challenging it can be to establish solid legislative processes for the gambling industry. Specifically mentioning the structure of subsidies to help regional agencies with their RET frameworks. Regardless of the obstacles, they presented a draft proposal on how these subsidies and grants could be structured.
Spain made the Ministry of Consumer Affairs the authority for Tax in their gambling sector for 2021. Subsequently, they pledged to direct 25% of accrued taxes toward improving and developing new safer gambling legislation and networks. The new federal safer gambling legislation plan covers the promotion of unified RET disciplines and an Evaluation Committee will process grant applications.
The next step of the consultation process includes reshaping procedures relating to grant and subsidy processes and how the committee will approach applications. New assessment criteria could include a points system where RET applications will receive a score out of 100. The committee will distribute the approved regional subsidies.
Spain’s National Drugs Council will provide support where necessary and the oversight of RET funding applications will come from the Spanish Registry of Clinical Studies.