Gambling addiction in Spain will now be classed as a mental disorder under new guidelines published by the country’s gambling regulator, the DGOJ (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego).
In an attempt to address the increase in problem gambling, the DGOJ updated its 2019-20 Responsible Gaming Program after approval by the Responsible Gaming Advisory Council (CAJR) members.
Over the coming months, a number of measures will be introduced to help combat the Spanish population’s growing gambling habits.
The DGOJ and CAJR will collaborate and firstly classify problem gambling addiction as a mental health issue. They will then perform a study and create a list of variables that will help to identify a person as having a gambling addiction.
The data will then help to improve decision-making and guide public policy in the area gaining a better understanding of the social impact that problem gambling has.
Furthermore, the DGOJ will also set out an in-depth review of the General Registry of Access to Game Interdictions (RGIAJ) the country’s self-exclusion scheme available to gamblers and determine where the system can be improved.
The study will also assess the gambling industry as a whole with greater scrutiny and oversight of gambling operators.
The DGOJ have also announced that they will be creating a new alert system, which will flag any potential cases of fraud when a person registers with a gambling website online. The correct verification of ID is mandatory for regulators in the fight against fraud and under-age gambling.
Gambling Addiction In Spain
Gambling in the country was first decriminalised in 1977 and since the Spanish Gambling Act of 2011, there has been a huge explosion in the number of betting establishments and online casino websites.
Recent figures published by the DGOJ report that the gambling industry in Spain produced €8 Billion in gross gaming revenue in 2018 with the online gambling industry accounting for around €900 Million of this, a 22.5% increase year-on-year.
Lotteries, which are very popular in Spain with the yearly El Gordo draw, were the largest source of revenue, bringing in €4.21bn.