The government yesterday approved a two-year suspension of new licences for all types of gambling establishment.
Juan Pedro Yllanes, the vice-president explained that there will be reorganisation of gambling and measures to rationalise these establishments. The suspension “is an effective instrument so that there isn’t an avalanche that turns us into a low-cost Las Vegas”. Yllanes said that there are 152 establishments at present, including three casinos. Five requests that are already in the pipeline “will be legally processed”.
In terms of specific measures, Yllanes identified, for example, quotas for new licences and increasing the distance between establishments. The government’s approval, he stated, was the firmest there has been on gambling in Spain. In recent years, the vice-president noted, gambling has become a social problem affecting the most vulnerable in society.
The government’s response is therefore based on the general interest in terms of public order, public health and safety, and the protection of the rights of users.
The two-year suspension will be extended if new regulations are not in place. Current regulations include there having to be a minimum of 100 metres between gambling establishments and entrances to schools and playgrounds.