The regional government of the Balearic Islands has approved decrees regarding casinos and sports betting which aim to further develop the local industry while also introducing stricter controls.
Most significantly for the casino industry, the new regulations allow each licenced casino to open an additional satellite venue, located outside the main property, permitting the three casinos – Mallorca, Maó and Eivissa – currently located on the islands to run an annexed casino away from their existing operation.
The size of these new venues must not exceed 60 percent of their parent casino’s playing area, while casinos must also pay an additional deposit of E450,000 in the case of Mallorca and E225,000 in Menorca, Eivissa or Formentera.
“What’s new is that Brussels has given the approval to the new regulations for casino and sports betting halls, thus avoiding the concentration of new gambling halls in the same street and also making it possible for each casino to have a satellite branch on the island where it is based,” said, Iago Negueruela, the counsellor for Work, Commerce and Industry.
According to media reports the satellite property for Casino de Mallorca could be located in the north of the island or in a five- star hotel in the Bay of Palma.
Additionally the new regulations, drawn up and approved by the Balearic Islands Gaming Commission, will put into place a number of player protection measures including the protection of minors as well as self exclusion programmes.
Operators will also be required to clearly highlight the dangers of gambling addiction on their premises.
Meanwhile, in order to avoid the over concentration of sports betting shops and gaming halls in the same location new rules establish a minimum distance between them of 500m in island’s capital, Palma, and 250m for the rest of the municipalities on the islands.
“We are the only regional authority that has established this limitation, because the goal is not to have Las Vegas-style streets,” Negueruela explained. “This rule was agreed on with all affected parties, including operators and trade unions.”