The Podemos party in the Assembly of Madrid has presented a new law, which would update gaming laws in the region. The law urges the regional government to “fight gambling addiction, regulate advertising, and move betting houses away from places close to schools and institutes.”
Deputy Emilio Delgado said that current gaming laws date back to 1995 and that the sector has changed radically since then. As a result, important changes are required such as preventing as many as five establishments in a single street or near schools.
“Since 2014 the number of sports betting shops has increased by 140 percent. The current law has become obsolete. . .” he said. According to local news portal Vozpópuli, the party believes that in recent years that there has been an explosion of advertising related to gaming in the media and via social networks, which represent a risk factor for the increase in gambling addiction.
The party also argues that unlike almost all of the other autonomous communities in Spain there are no planning regulations in place when it comes to gambling halls in Madrid. In addition, there is a lack of regulation when it comes to advertising as well as insufficient player protection measures and resources in place to help those who have become addicted to gaming.
As a result, the Podemos Party has put forward a raft of new measures designed to combat the problems of pathological gambling such as the creation of a Gaming Council in the Community of Madrid. The new law would create a local strategy aimed at the prevention of pathological gambling, tighten government inspection in order to enforce compliance and eliminate the advertising of sports betting and other type of gaming during children’s hours. Zoning laws would also be tightened in order to prevent slot halls from being located in places designated as special risk such as therapy centres for problem gamblers as well as schools. Meanwhile one per cent of gaming tax revenue would be earmarked for those addicted to gambling.
The Assembly of Madrid is the regional legislature of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, which is one of the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain. The party is planning to take their proposals to a number of district boards in the city in order to broaden the debate to the municipalities of the Community. Once this is completed, the party will first attempt to push the new law forward in a plenary session in the City Council of Madrid.