The Socialist party in Spain has made a non-legislative proposal to end the practice of offering bonuses and other “inducements” to gamble. The prohibition would cover VIP loyalty schemes, that award points or prizes, and in doing so reward “excessive consumption.”
The proposal was adopted by the Joint Commission for the Study of Drug Problems and was ordered to be published in the official parliamentary gazette.
The argument for the proposal reflects that presented by Svenska Spel when it ended such inducements, that is, that the sole purpose of such marketing devices is to: “induce and consolidate consumer behavior in a population that is hard to reach … through conventional advertising formulas.”
The Socialist deputies stress the “addictive potential” of online gambling and relate it to similar addictive behavior in drug addicts.
The proposals contain additional measures to “reduce the availability of gambling,” to enforce limits to access through measures such as “positive identification;” to increase the formalities to be followed should a player who has opted out ask to be readmitted to a gambling site, and to set strict spending limits for each player.
A month ago the same group sent a proposal to the Committee for Housing and Public Administration to stop players from deducting losses from winnings in calculating tax liabilities.
The current government is a centre right coalition which opposes the Socialist position on gambling. While there is little chance of the recent proposals being adopted, they indicate the possible agenda of a new government should the Socialists return to power in Spain.