Published: March 14, 2023

SPAIN: Betting and gambling websites will have to notify their players every hour of the money they have bet and lost

Betting and gambling websites will have to notify their players every hour of the money they have bet and lost

One of the great changes in Spain in recent years is in its neighbourhoods, which have been filled with bookmakers as an extension of a phenomenon that also occurs online. Consequently, the Government has been regulating them to gradually restrict a part of their activity, as when it prohibited certain forms of advertising by companies of this type, although the final result was more lax than promised.

Along the same lines, the Council of Ministers has just approved, at the request of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, a new standard for bookmakers and gambling websites: They must notify their users once an hour of the money they have bet and have lost in that period of time. A measure aimed at ensuring that its users have a constant notion of the money lost in order to avoid problematic cases, as explained by El País.

And not only a count of money bet and net losses, but also the prohibition that these notifications are accompanied by messages that relativize that loss, such as “almost” or “you were very close”.

It is the most outstanding measure among the thirty that make up the decree that seeks to “minimize risky or intensive gambling behaviors that can lead, in the most extreme cases, to problematic or pathological behaviors.” Other measures include the prohibition of sending promotional activities other than the type of game that the web has, such as live shows, to its clients between 18 and 25 years of age. Nor will they be able to include them in loyalty programs.

Customers of that same age group will also be prohibited from placing bets with a credit card (not a debit card) as long as they have lost 200 euros for three consecutive weeks. For people over 25 years of age, this figure increases to 600 euros.

Companies in this sector will also have to send information and alerts to users who are detected as risk behavior. And have a telephone assistance service to help this type of user, which cannot be a special rate number. In the same way, they must contact them if they detect cases like this, and if they do not get a response within a maximum period of 72 hours, suspend their accounts.

Another of the measures is that for certain types of games, such as instant lottery games, they will require players to establish in advance the time and the maximum amount they wish to play. These amounts will not be modifiable afterwards.

The idea, according to the Ministry, is to “change the paradigm in the conception of the game” to move “from an individualistic approach focused on the fact that the player is solely responsible for their game to a new one, of a protectionist nature, which makes companies responsible for the risks of gambling and betting”.

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