Many Gambling Addicts in Spain are Teenagers

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3 Minute Read

Spain’s gambling market has been slowing down in 2019. Revenue earnings from this industry have slowly dipped in the second half of this year. New reports are now coming out that a vast number of gambling addicts in Spain are teenagers.

It’s concerning news for lawmakers in this country. Spain is the latest country in Europe to crack down against the rise of gambling addiction. Let’s look at why so many teens are gambling here, and what the government is doing about it.

Spain’s Gambling Revenue Continues to Fall

For many years, Spain closed off its online gambling market to foreign companies. In 2011, the government here passed the Spanish Gambling Act, which allowed gambling operators to offer services hereafter obtaining a license from the government. Today, many of the top online gambling sites in Europe are available in Spain.

For years, this country’s internet gambling market has grown. Many young people began wagering online here, particularly on sports, and revenue started flowing in. Unfortunately, things have slowed down in 2019’s second half.

According to Spain’s Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), licensed gambling operators brought in just €178.4 million in this year’s second quarter. This represents a 6.7% increase from the same time in 2018, yet it’s 7.9% lower than the first quarter of 2019. It’s not a drastic decline and still shows that revenue is coming in, yet some feel the market is slowing.

Sports betting revenue was down 1.8% year-on-year last quarter. Traditional fixed-odds betting revenue fell by an astounding 31.2%. Overall, new betting account sign-ups were down by 12% in 2019’s second quarter.

Now, reports are surfacing that a huge number of gambling addicts in Spain are teens. The news comes at the same time the government considers setting harsh new regulations on gambling advertisements.

More Teenagers are Becoming Gambling Addicts in Spain

Gambling addiction is becoming a serious issue all around Europe. Recently, Madrid’s Association of Psychologists and Spain’s Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers released a report, claiming one in five Spanish teens between 14 to 21 are dealing with gambling addiction issues. It’s a troubling statistic for the government.

Not everyone is blaming online gambling, though. Since 2013, hundreds of land-based betting shops have opened around Spain. Teenagers have easy access to these gambling venues, which generally offer sports betting odds. Several politicians are now calling for these gambling houses to be banned from opening near schools and other educational centers.

Online gambling is undoubtedly contributing to the problem. Easy access to gambling options online is attractive to young people. One of the most influential political parties in Spain wants to see this change. The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party claims it will “approve regulations of gambling advertising and online betting, state-wide and similar to that of tobacco products.”

The central government is also considering an outright ban on gambling advertising. If approved, gambling companies in Spain will no longer be permitted to advertise on television and radio. These companies would also be prohibited from marketing on the internet during certain times of the day.

It’s not a great sign to see so many teenagers becoming gambling addicts in Spain. As we mentioned earlier, however, Spain is far from the only country dealing with this issue right now.

Ireland and the UK Also Struggle With Gambling Addiction

The accessibility of online gambling sites has led to a rise in gambling addiction throughout Europe. Ireland has one of the highest rates of problem gambling right now. According to numerous reports, there are at least 40,000 gambling addicts here. The country’s government is setting up a new gambling regulatory body to combat this issue.

The United Kingdom is also taking this issue seriously. Hundreds of thousands of UK residents are addicted to gambling. As a result, the government here has begun setting strict regulations on the industry.

Back in February, UK lawmakers began setting new restrictions on gambling advertisements. In April, the government started a “National Strategy” to combat growing rates of gambling addiction. If this issue isn’t resolved, the government may be forced to take more drastic steps.

It’s not a huge surprise to see so many teenagers becoming gambling addicts in Spain. This country has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. Hope is that the government finds an effective way to curb the problem gambling issue while keeping the market open to foreign gambling companies.

How do you think Spain’s government should tackle this issue? Let us know in the comments section below!

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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