More gambling salons for Majorca but with controls. | Archive


Measures are to be adopted in order to prevent a proliferation of gambling salons in the Balearics. Regional law of 2014 approved greater liberalisation of gambling, and since this legislation there have been discussions between government, unions and SAREIB, the association for gambling salons, regarding controls to avoid streets becoming "like Las Vegas".

The government's director for economic and business affairs, Pilar Sansó, says that there has been agreement among all parties regarding protective measures on entrance and the number of salons. With regard to the latter, there are to be minimum distances between salons: in the case of Palma this will be 500 metres; elsewhere in Majorca it will be 250 metres.

Sansó notes that the Balearics will become the only region of Spain with such limitations. It was important, she explains, to have a balance between the number of salons and the interests of both business and tourism. The businesses, she stresses, have "understood our requirements" (those of the trade and industry ministry) and participated in setting the regulations". Agreements arrived at will now go forward for parliamentary consideration.

There is also general agreement regarding a local version of betting shops, for which the minimum distances will also apply (they are most likely to be the same premises as gambling salons). But there are issues that need to be ironed out and which involve the Council of Majorca and national government regarding trot racing in Majorca and Spain.

Iago Negueruela, the minister for trade and industry, is emphasising controls that will be in place regarding entrance and actually gambling. These are aimed at minors and compulsive gamblers. ID will be required, which in the case of minors is easily enough checked for age. For compulsive gamblers, an ID database will enable salons to identify those who are registered as being compulsive gamblers. There are 392 people in the Balearics who are on a registry.

At present, according to SAREIB, there are 110 gambling salons, of which 92 are in Majorca with 50 of them being in Palma.