Spanish Government Urged to Follow UK Lead

A leading consumer watchdog in Spain has advised the national government to adopt the UK model and introduce a credit card betting ban.

Consumidores en Accion’ (FACUA) has addressed Podemos deputy leader Alberto Garzon, who is set to take up the post of Minister of Consumer Affairs in the new coalition government. As part of their plan to provide closer oversight of the Spanish betting market, the government has handed responsibility for the betting industry to the Consumer Affairs ministry.

In a statement issued this week, FACUA expressed their support for the government’s commitment to bringing in a number of reforms, including advertising changes, a new federal code on gambling marketing and new opening time restrictions on gambling premises. But the watchdog wants the government to go further in order to protect vulnerable consumers, and it is recommending that Spain follows the UK in introducing a ban on credit card betting:

“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 is a key part of the coalition’s legislative agenda, which will involve a complete overhaul of the regulatory framework. But it has also been reported that the government is considering the UK model. The UK Gambling Commission announced a complete ban on credit card gambling from April 14 this year, after a long consultation. The UK industry has also implemented several other changes, including a whistle to whistle ban on gambling advertising during televised sport and a range of additional verification and anti-money laundering procedures.

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