Ahead of the 10:15 session, "Tracking European Regulatory Initiatives to Enhance Consumer Protection", at this year's WrB London, we spoke with Susana Campuzano Fernandez.
We sat with Susana Campuzano Fernandez, the Deputy Head of Unit for Institutional Relations and Management, from Directorate General for Gambling Regulation about the development of the Spanish responsible gambling strategy - eLudo, their main consumer protection challenges, and the restructuring of CAJR.
WrB London: Please could you tell us a bit more about eLudo?
The eLudo programme 2018-2020 is the Spanish Gambling Authority’s new responsible gambling initiative. The programme aims to promote prevention, awareness and information on games of chance through a series of priorities, strategies and projects. When implementing it, the Authority will focus on three key objectives: analysis and diagnosis, player protection and outreach initiatives.
WrB London: For those who aren’t up-to-date with Spanish regulation, could you explain what CAJR is and how the restructuring has gone?
The Advisory Council on Responsible Gambling (CAJR) was established in 2013, with the primary function of advising the Authority on the creation and implementation of a responsible gaming strategy. It is made up of representatives from the industry; associations, responsible gaming experts and other stakeholders. Since its establishment, we have had a much clearer picture of both the strengths and areas for improvements and that’s why we decided to restructure it.
WrB London: In your opinion, what are and will be the main challenges for operators when it comes to consumer protection?
Firstly, operators are expected to work within the framework of current regulation which means that the primary challenge is compliance. However, the sector is a highly dynamic and innovative technological environment, which means that customer protection, aside from complying with regulation, also has to be adapted at the rate of change, and this is another major challenge.
WrB London: How do you plan to work with operators to improve their RG policies?
There are many ways in which we work with operators. For example, there will be operators in the Advisory Council who will be helping to develop concrete projects which will in turn help determine the DGOJ’s legislation. This is in addition to channels of communication we already use such as meetings, and operators’ participation in public consultations.
WrB London: Do you believe that regulatory enforcement or operator self-regulation works best?
Law enforcement is undeniably useful and necessary because it creates a structured and secure jurisdiction for operators. However, as mentioned the inherent characteristics of the sector mean that on some occasions, regulation cannot be adapted at the same speed as market advances, which means that self-regulation is also of vital importance.
WrB London: What is the importance of education for the prevention of gambling addiction and how do you plan to educate both operators and players?
Both of these groups have to understand that gambling should only be taken up as a socially sustainable recreational activity. Consumers must play responsibly, but operators must also ensure that they are not driven solely by the prospect of maximising their profits. It is extremely important for people to understand this, and for that reason the DGOJ tries to promote the message in different ways: regulatory, training activities, and collaborating with other government departments etc.