The Assembly of Madrid has approved the proposal put forward by The Podemos Party (We Can Party), which urges the regional government to elaborate a new gaming law.
The new proposal includes a local strategy for the prevention of gambling addiction as well as the creation of a Gaming Council in the Community of Madrid. Its first task will be a six-month long evaluation report on gambling activity for the entire community.
Deputy Emilio Delgado (Podemos), who is leading the impetus for the new law, said that he was not against gaming and was not looking for a ban. Instead, the aim of the initiative was “to harmonise the interests of all sectors concerned.”
Meanwhile Victoria Alonso member of the centre-right Ciudadanos Party (Citizens Party), which gave its backing to the proposal, said that there was a need to raise public awareness when it came to the potentially addictive nature of gaming.
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 including during sporting events that take place at that time on Radio Televisión Madrid S.A.
While the proposal gained broad consensus garnering support from both the Ciudadanos Party as well as the El Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) the conservative Partido Popular (The People’s Party) was against the measure. Partido Popular Deputy Eduardo Oficialdegui argued that it was unnecessary and went too far. “Some measures are already covered by the current law and another measures exceed the powers” of the Community he said.
The Podemos party put forward the new proposal in March urging the government to “fight gambling addiction, regulate advertising, and move betting houses away from places close to schools and institutes.” 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. 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.