Lawmakers Continue to Discuss Gambling Addiction in Spain

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Spain is home to one of the biggest online gambling markets in Europe. Unfortunately, rates of gambling addiction in Spain have been increasing for the past few years. Now, lawmakers in the country are beginning to take a much closer look at this issue.

This is a problem throughout Europe. Spain is one of many countries now working to eliminate problem gambling. Let’s take a quick look at some of the steps that officials here are taking.

Spain’s Gambling Revenue Fluctuates in 2019

Spain is known for having a passionate gambling fan base. Over the past decade, the country has experienced a massive increase in the number of individuals who gamble online here. This is especially true after 2011 when the government passed the Spanish Gambling Act.

This set of laws made it possible for the federal government to monitor all of the country’s gambling industry. Prior to the Spanish Gambling Act, each region of the country had the ability to set its own gambling laws. Under this set of laws, foreign online gambling companies can operate in Spain after obtaining a license from the government.

Today, most of the biggest online gambling sites in Europe legally offer their services to Spanish players. In 2019, revenue from this industry has fluctuated.

At the beginning of the year, revenue was up double-digits from 2018. Towards the summertime, revenue began to decline. Many believe the government’s new regulations towards gambling advertisements are to blame. Others felt it was the lack of major sporting events.

As we’ve already mentioned, rates of gambling addiction have been increasing here. This week, the government began looking at new ways to change this trend.

Government Considers New Approach to Stop Gambling Addiction in Spain

Only recently have different countries began to truly look at gambling addiction as a serious issue. In the past, it seemed to be pushed to the side. As more individuals deal with this issue, the government is finding it harder to ignore.

This week, lawmakers in Spain began diagnosing gambling addiction as a mental health disorder. Spain’s gambling regulator, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), recently updated its Responsible Gaming Program with this new measure set in place.

It all comes as a larger plan to better assist those dealing with this issue. The DGOJ can now put together a list of key variables to better identify a gambling addict.

This isn’t the only step to cut down on rates of gambling addiction in Spain. Soon, the DGOJ will conduct a major study into a gambling self-exclusion program, similar to the one being offered in the UK and Sweden.

The Responsible Gaming Advisory Council (CAJR), another government body focused on solving this issue, is also taking steps to make a change.

It’s great to see lawmakers in Spain to proactive towards this issue. Perhaps in time, Spain will be seen as the gold-standard in effective online gambling regulation.

New Gambling Regulations Begin Popping Up in Spain

Today, Spain’s central government has the power to control most of the country’s gambling laws. Regional governments can still make their laws, as long as it does not go directly against the central government’s regulations. Recently, Barcelona and Valencia began setting new laws towards the gaming industry.

These two regions are becoming increasingly worried about the impact that gambling is having on the youth. Both are also upset with the central government’s delay in implementing new measures to crack down on gambling addiction in Spain.

Valencia passed a measure that allows access controls to ensure online gambling sites are not actively promoting to underage gamblers.

Barcelona passed an even stricter measure that outright bans any additional gambling establishments from operating in the region. According to the Barcelona City Council, more than 20,000 individuals in Catalonia are addicted to gambling.

There are clearly a lot of individuals focused on eliminating gambling addiction in Spain. We’ll need to wait and see just how effective these new measures are.

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...

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