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Spain’s Balearic Islands reveal changes to its gambling market

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Spain’s Balearic Islands recently joined several autonomous communities in the country to make significant changes to its gambling laws. After recording a growth spurt in the past few years, the islands recently announced that ahead of the New Year, it would include additional restrictions to its gambling laws.

The Government Council of the region just approved a bill to that effect that would make a number of adjustments to the Gambling and Betting Law of the Balearic Islands. The region is made of several smaller islands, including four main tourist islands, which are Majorca, Minorca, Formentera, Ibiza, and Cabrera. There are also around 151 other smaller isles, all of which are inhabited.

Per the government statement, the primary aim of the new restrictions was to ensure that vulnerable individuals were protected. The changes would also provide legal protection and maximum security to its citizens and review discussions concerning planning gambling hall locations as well as a number of betting venues.

Spain’s Balearic Islands are ranked the third highest in supply density due to its ratio of around 108 gambling venues for every one million residents. The region’s supply density is also 40% more than Spain’s. As a result, the island’s government has observed the need to make some changes.

This new legal reform will significantly impact the authorization of new gaming and betting businesses in the Balearic Islands. The relevant parties needed to approve these businesses will reportedly be limited by the law. This will affect casino ventures as well as pay-money gaming arcades, bingo parlors, sportsbooks, and sports betting locations, in addition to other gaming venues.

The region’s government has been called out by residents several times in recent years to intervene in the increased gambling operations in the Balearic Islands. While land-based gambling and betting venues, and online gambling have increased over the past years, the development is not one that the indigenes have received with open arms.

The government of Balearic Islands’ decision to limit Casino authorization was also in response to the increased sensitivity over problem gambling in the region. Addiction to the activity has risen considerably in the past years despite Spain boasting one of the safest gaming markets. As a result, the topic is involved in most discussions concerning the gaming industry.

Although there are a number of legally regulated distance limitations between gaming facilities in the islands, several locations have recorded significant concentrations of casino establishments and other similar venues.

The gaming reform will also increase the distance between gaming and betting locations from recreational and educational centers that house minors.

Per the state authorities’ recommendation, the gaming and betting locations will need to be controlled as it cannot be more than the average amount per inhabitant in the entire country. As of 2020, the figure, according to the Spanish Journal of Public Health, was 68 per million inhabitants. The average, as well as the number of venues, would be reviewed by the Balearic Islands every year.

Gambling advertisements and promotional activities will also be affected by the reform. The government of the Balearic Islands will reportedly not allow betting or gambling operations to be advertised or marketed in any form. The government argued that the advertising ban was necessary in order for a more conducive gaming environment to be created.

While gambling may be restricted to a certain age, watching promotional gambling material is not. This could ultimately lure minors into trying their hands at gambling.

Type B slot machines present in restaurants and bars will have to use an electronic age control according to the new law. While electronic age control has yet to be implemented in these locations, it was introduced to gambling and betting venues much earlier. It is also in use in several other parts of the world and areas in Spain.

The new changes will involve an ID verification system which will aid the gaming venue in confirming the age of the person. There was no information concerning how these changes will be implemented.

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