Spain to Unveil Draft Online Gaming Legislation

25th November 2009 9:27 am GMT

Spain's Ministry of Interior has said that the country's long-awaited online gaming legislation is near completion and will be presented to the autonomous communities no later than January 2010. Meanwhile a sub-committee of the Congress of Deputies is also nearing completion of its investigation into Spanish sports, with sport ownership rights and betting's contribution to sport again taking centre stage.

Speaking at the opening of the sixth Congreso de Juego in Castilla y León, Angeles González García, Technical Secretary General of the Interior Ministry, said that foreign operators have been active in the Spanish market for too long without any regulation.

González said that there was an urgent need for regulation in order to protect consumers, particularly in light of the recent match fixing scandal in European football. (more)

Although no details of the proposed legislation have yet been published, the Interior Ministry says that it has been created to be as broad as possible in order to respect the competency of the autonomous regions. An issue that will be specifically addressed by the legislation is that of marketing and promotions where tight restrictions are expected to be introduced, particularly with regard to their impact on minors.

According to González, the draft regulations could be presented to the autonomous communities in December, or at the latest in early January.

Also speaking at the conference was Alfonso Fernandez Mañueco of the Castilla y León Department of Interior and Justice, who said that the autonomous region would become the first to regulate interactive gaming in Spain. He said that measures to regulate gambling via TV, phone and Internet are being incorporated into the 2010 budget of Castilla y León which is currently being finalised.

Taking a lead from the French, the Spanish government is also currently investigating the issue of sport ownership rights with a view to ensuring that sporting bodies receive a share of profits derived from betting on their competitions.

A sub-committee of the Congress of Deputies has been investigating this issue since the beginning of the year as part of a wider review of the Sports Act of 1990 and its findings are expected to be made public during the first quarter of 2010.

The committee has scheduled more than 50 hearings with representatives of sporting bodies and experts in the field in order to ascertain the demands of sports. It was originally scheduled to present its findings on October 12th however that deadline was extended to allow the committee to complete its hearings.

Gaming Intelligence will publish full details of each piece of legislation as it becomes available.

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