The Government approves a Royal Decree that prohibits messages that encourage gambling at the end of a game such as "you almost hit it" or "you were close"
MADRID, 14 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Council of Ministers has approved this Tuesday, at the proposal of the Ministry of Consumption, a Royal Decree that seeks to reinforce the protection of the most vulnerable players and obliges operators to create safer gaming environments. To do this, it includes, among other measures, that they cannot accept credit cards from players considered vulnerable and the imposition of fines of up to 50 million euros if the new regulations are not complied with.
As Consumption explains, this new regulation aims to minimize risky or intensive gambling behaviors that can lead, in the most extreme cases, to problematic or pathological behaviors.
Thus, it points out that one of the "target populations" of the regulation are young people between 18 and 25 years of age, "particularly sensitive to inappropriate messages and game patterns", although the regulation aims to reinforce the protection of other vulnerable profiles, such as the case of those who already have intensive or risky gambling behaviors.
As a general rule, people who accumulate net losses equal to or greater than 600 euros (limited to 200 euros in the case of those under 25 years of age) in a period of three consecutive weeks will be considered to be in the intensive gambling category. Also part of the group of special protection and vulnerability of the new standard are those who have requested a restriction on access to their gambling account (self-excluded) and those who have registered in the General Register of Gambling Access Bans (self-banned).
However, the Royal Decree, which contemplates general protection measures for gamblers in a broad sense, regardless of the risk of their gambling behaviors, has the objective of guaranteeing a framework of protection policies against gambling risks at the state level. that "prevents problematic behaviors and increases the supervision and control of the operators".
After the entry into force of the new regulations, companies in the sector will be obliged to "promote healthy consumption guidelines and minimize the appearance of damage to the personal, family and patrimonial sphere of gamblers".
Among the new obligations of the operators aimed at protecting vulnerable people, the sending of a specific message that warns of detected risk behavior or the sending of a monthly summary of their gaming activity stand out. In addition, players in a situation of risk will not be able to use credit cards as long as they maintain this dynamic (they can only use nominative means of payment and that they own).
Vulnerable players will also be excluded from promotional activities and from the privileged client list. In other words, they can no longer be offered improved or more advantageous conditions to promote their level of play.
The operators will also implement reinforcement measures for vulnerable gamblers, such as establishing a specific interaction with them and obtaining their response within a maximum period of 72 hours. In case there is no response from players with risk behavior, the operator will have to suspend the account.
On the other hand, companies will be prohibited from sending promotional activities to young people between 18 and 25 whose purpose is unrelated to the gaming activity carried out on the web or platform, such as invitations to matches or tickets for shows, and they will not be able to include them in VIP loyalty programs.
Operators are also required to inform young participants that beginning to gamble at an early age is associated with an increased risk of developing gambling and gambling disorders or compulsive gambling.
In addition, self-excluded and self-banned persons will not receive commercial communications either and, in the case of participants who register in the General Registry of Gambling Access Bans (RGIAJ), they will be prohibited from accessing their accounts, deposits and participations within a period of time. maximum of 48 hours.
The operators will have to subscribe to the anti-pishing alert service of the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling to control that people with risky behaviors do not play again impersonating another player.
In general, for all people participating in games of chance and betting, companies in the sector will have to include in their respective websites and applications information on the prohibition of gambling for minors, the possible risks of gambling, the associated disorders and how to get help with it.
In fact, it will be compulsory for them to have a telephone assistance and help service for risk behaviors and this cannot be at a special rate. Companies in the sector will also have to specifically train a person to be responsible for supervising player protection measures.
Additionally, and unlike what happens currently, they will not be able to issue messages such as "you almost hit it" or "you were close" to encourage a new bet or game at the end of a game. And, in order for players to be aware of how they are playing and spending, they will need to send them monthly reports on their playing patterns (frequency, amounts, deposit limit changes).
Another novelty is that the people who log in to play the so-called instant or pre-drawn lottery games must establish in advance the maximum time and the amount to play, with no possibility of being modified during the course of the same.
Failure to comply with the measures contemplated in the royal decree will be subject to a sanction by the Ministry of Consumption. Thus, for serious infractions, the fines amount to up to one million euros and can lead to the suspension of the gaming license for six months. In the case of very serious ones, the penalties go up to 50 million euros and may entail the loss of the gaming license.
The general entry into force of the norm is six months from its publication in the Official State Gazette, with the exception of certain articles that, due to the special complexity of the technological developments that they imply, will have a period of twelve months.