New gambling regulations are coming to Galicia, Spain

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Posted on: October 3, 2022, 8:18 a.m.

Last update: October 3, 2022, 9:45 a.m.

The Spanish gaming industry continues to evolve in order to respond to new challenges. While most Autonomous Communities are introducing updated legislation, Galicia has added its name to the list.

La Coruña, Galicia, Spain
A typical street scene in La Coruña, Galicia, Spain. Galicia is introducing new gambling laws, making it the latest of the country’s Autonomous Communities to update its regulations. (Image: All rooms)

The Council of Galicia has approved a new restrictive bill that will limit both the number of betting establishments and machines per location. Galicia’s new president, Alfonso Rueda, said the board had given the green light to approve the bill, which will limit the growth of gambling in the region.

During a press conference, Rueda explained that the project aims to ensure responsible gambling and to take care of the most vulnerable people. He also explained that the previous regulations had been in place for over three decades and it was time for a change.

More gaming is coming to Galicia

The new legislation will authorize two casinos, 12 bingo halls, 118 gaming halls and 41 betting shops. In total, there will be a maximum of 175 gaming establishments in Galicia. Currently, there are 40 betting shops, two casinos, 11 bingo halls and 115 gaming halls.

In addition, the legislation prohibits granting loans or credits to players. The use of bonuses, free games or anything that can be exchanged for money is also not allowed. For their part, the municipalities of Galicia may apply other additional limitations and restrictions regarding the opening of gambling establishments.

There will also be new limitations on slot machines in bars, restaurants and leisure establishments. Each can only exploit a maximum of two. Likewise, Galicia has set a maximum of 3,600 authorizations for betting machines in other hospitality venues.

There is also a 12,000 unit limit on Type B gaming machines, which mainly covers slot machines. All gaming devices outside of casinos will also have to include mechanisms to prevent underage gambling.

Gaming establishments must be located at least 300 meters (984 feet) from education and substance abuse centres. They should also be the same distance from other play locations.

New fines will also be introduced. They start at €100 (97 USD) and can go up to €100,000 (97,580 USD). The government will review the scale to ensure that the fine, if any, is greater than the non-compliance with the regulations.

Gaming companies will have two years to comply with all new regulations.

Galicia follows in the footsteps of Catalonia

Andalusia, Madrid, Valencia and other Spanish communities have all introduced new gambling laws this year. More recently, just before Galicia, Catalonia have also been part of the group.

The new regulations ensure that the maximum number of bingo halls will remain at 75. Across the community, pending final approval, only four casinos are permitted. In Vila-seca and Salou, two popular tourist destinations, the government may approve additional gambling facilities.

In all of Catalonia, there can only be a maximum of 127 gambling halls. There will also be a new definition of what constitutes a gaming facility, but this has yet to be approved.

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