The Social Gaming Board meets before the start of the parliamentary processing of the new Law

Jan 22, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Vice President of the Government and Minister of Energy Transition, Productive Sectors and Democratic Memory, Juan Pedro Yllanes; the Regional Secretary of Productive Sectors and Democratic Memory, Jesús Jurado, and the Director General of Commerce, Miquel Piñol, has brought together the Social Gaming Board in view of the imminent parliamentary debate on the new Balearic law which, as approved by the Council of Government on Monday 16 January, will be processed through the emergency procedure.

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The Social Gaming Board

The meeting was attended by the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Palma, the Ombudsman of Palma, Palma City Council, the Federation of Associations of Parents, the European Institute of Studies in Prevention (IREFREA), the Col-legi Oficial de Psicòlegs de les Illes Balears, representatives of the Pla d’Addiccions i Drogodependències de les Illes Balears (PADIB) of the Regional Ministry of Health, as well as the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU), which has travelled from Madrid to attend this meeting.

The vice-president wanted to inform the participants of the latest developments regarding the planning of gambling in the community and also to thank the work and collaboration of the different entities, above all, “for having made available to the Government their different perspectives on gambling as a matter of public health, a social issue and a matter of neighbourhood coexistence, and not strictly a matter of business as it had been treated until now”.

Likewise, the Director General of Commerce, Miquel Piñol, informed them of the Government’s intention to meet with the trade unions in the coming weeks to jointly draw up a relocation plan for workers who may be affected by some of the measures of the new law, as has been done so far with all those affected by the various measures adopted to date.

The regional secretary for Productive Sectors and Democratic Memory, for his part, highlighted the Government’s commitment “to policies for the prevention of addictions and the protection of our minors and most vulnerable groups, which, he maintains, is the spirit of this Law”.

Suspension of licences and advertising bans, some of the most important measures of the new Balearic Gambling Law

The reform of the regional law on gambling includes the suspension of the granting of new authorisations for the opening of any gambling establishment (casinos, bingos, gaming halls or specific betting establishments) until the ratio of on-site gambling establishments per million inhabitants, which is currently 108, is reduced to the state average – an average that the Spanish Journal of Public Health of the Ministry of Health put at 68 per million inhabitants in 2020, i.e. 40 points below the Balearic average.

The new regional law on gambling also includes the main demands of the social groups affected by gambling addiction and those involved in combating it. In this sense, it extends the distance between gambling and betting parlours and certain centres or spaces dedicated to the education and recreation of minors or vulnerable people to 500 metres; it establishes electronic age control for the use of type B gaming machines in bars and restaurants; and it prohibits advertising and acts of promotion of gambling and betting activities throughout the Balearic Islands, among other measures.