Spain Close to Wrapping up Review of Sports Betting Laws before Making Changes

By | April 11, 2022

Spanish lawmakers are in the process of updating the country’s sports betting laws. As they enter the last lap, they have to have all proposals in place this week.

Spain chamber of deputies
Spain’s Chamber of Deputies in their daily routine. The legislators are close to wrapping up the submission of proposals to update the country’s sports betting laws. (Image: Spain Chamber of Deputies)

This week, the deeply Catholic Spain celebrates Holy Week. As many people head out on vacation virtually mask-free for the first time in two years, lawmakers have to dig in for one final push.

The Congress of Deputies is preparing a draft update to sports betting laws, especially how to target potential match-fixing and fraud. Chamber lawmakers have only a few days until all proposals must be submitted.

Spain Bullish on Clean Sports Betting

Spain has begun to make increased efforts to reduce potential match-fixing in sports. The country’s lawmakers are now taking the bull by the horns to increase the focus.

This coming Wednesday is the deadline for the presentation of amendments in the Chamber of Deputies to the project’s articles amending Law 13/2011 on the regulation of gambling. The goal of the reform is to introduce changes to reinforce control over the manipulation of sports competitions and against fraud in betting.

The Bureau of the Congress greenlit the Health and Consumer Affairs Commission to develop changes. It adopted this agreement after the Council of Ministers approved a modification of the Law on the regulation of gambling during a meeting last month.

The modification introduces measures such as control over the manipulation of sports competitions and betting fraud. The lawmakers asserted at the time that game manipulation attacks the essential values of sports activity. It also distances fans and followers from the sports ecosystem.

The approval by the Bureau of Congress facilitated the inclusion of an additional provision to the original laws. These established that, in order to allow smooth and unencumbered investigations of potential issues, the General Directorate of Gambling Regulation (DGOJ, for its Spanish acronym) will restrict the rights of access, rectification, limitation, deletion, opposition and portability regarding the processing of data in it.

The goal of the amendments is to provide a technical, coordinated and comprehensive response to potentially fraudulent practices. That response, according to the Ministry of Consumption, could lead to administrative or criminal procedures.

Creating a Unified Response

In order to increase its fight against potential match-fixing and other related issues, Spain created the Global Betting Market Research Service (SIGMA, for its Spanish acronym). This is a technical instrument that will include interactive cooperation between different elements, but managed by the DGOJ.

It is also accessible electronically for registered entities, including the State Security Forces and Bodies and the Higher Sports Council. In addition, it has support from sports federations, professional leagues and gambling operators with an enabling title.

Through SIGMA, the information that any participating entity can transmit about possible fraud or rigging related to sports betting.. The objective is that the rest of the members of the system have proof of this information. They can then use it to verify the implications of the possible fraud committed in their specific field of action.

With this modification, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs gives this tool legal grounding. This, in turn, strengthens the instruments of the DGOJ in favor of safe gambling and against rigging and fraud in betting.

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