A slot machine with the new warning messages, Source: Govern de Illes Balears

Slot machines in the Balearic Islands will make gambling less fun

Slot machines in the Balearic Islands will make gambling less fun

The Spanish region is the first in the country to modify the devices so that they will not encourage addiction

The Balearic Islands have become the first region in Spain to modify the so-called slot machines in a way that they do not encourage endless playing, under a new law.

The devices, technically known as type B recreational machines, will have to feature a warning screen, which will ask the users questions about their age and whether they are “aware that the game can create addictions”.

This is not all, though. The machine software will have to turn off certain features that hook people into playing longer and longer. When the slot machines are not in use, they will only have a screensaver with a warning message and will not emit special lights and sounds. The latter are common techniques to provide audio-visual stimuli to gamblers to try their luck.

Turning the tide on gambling?

Slot machines are a common sight in many bars and cafes in Spain, so much so that they have in a sense normalized gambling, making it casual and easily accessible. The measure taken by the Balearic authorities is just a step in what can be hoped is the right direction to counteracting a widespread social illness.

There is a consensus that the Government has reached with manufacturers and installers to speed up the adaptation of the slot machines to the new gambling law. The legislation has been in force since 8 April and is much stricter regarding the protection of vulnerable people than the previous regional laws.

There are about 5,000 slot machines in the archipelago and although the official deadline provided by the law for the adaptation of the machines goes until the end of 2024, it is the will of both the authorities and the installers that this process is carried out as soon as possible, according to an official statement.



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