Balearic Government Introducing Amendments for Tighter Control of Gambling
The Balearic government is set to present amendments to its gambling legislation so as to introduce tighter measures at casino establishments. The director general for trade, Miguel Piñol, as well as the regional secretary for productive sectors, Jesús Jurado, spoke of new measures on Monday this week, which should be active as law by next year. These changes were brought about following a meeting of the gambling commission, with the scheduling of legislative reform being a high priority under discussion.
One of the key measures that will be introduced as part of the amendment to the existing gambling legislation is to increase the minimum distance of gambling establishments from various other locations, such as schools and playgrounds, hospitals, and centers for minors. At current, the minimum distance must be 100 meters, but it will be increased to 500 meters with the new amendments.
Gambling advertisements will also be restricted in public areas, and this includes the front of gambling establishments themselves. Furthermore, the number of new licenses that can be provided will also be restricted, and age controls are to be put in place for machines operating within bars and restaurants. Also, any potential sexist or racist elements on those machines will be removed.
Piñol will be providing specifics of the revised sanctions on those establishments that admit minors or those who have been banned, at the next meeting of the commission. Fines of up to €500,000 can be issued to those establishments under the current legislation for allowing minors to access their premises.
In the Balearics, around 150 gambling halls and betting establishments exist, while about 5,000 slot machines are also accessible within. The islands had the third highest number of gambling establishments in Spain in 2017, at around 116 per one million inhabitants.
Regarding new licenses being issued, Piñol said that two applications had been received – one for a company in Inca and the other in Marratxi. The latter of these is for an establishment that is around 100 meters away from a school, and given the existing laws, this is acceptable.