The gambling regulator of Spain — the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) — has revealed that it would be classifying gambling addiction as a mental disorder after its update of the 2019-2020 Responsible Gaming Program.
The update was given the green light by the Responsible Gaming Advisory Council (CAJR) after a vote that involved its members. Now that it has passed, a series of measures would be introduced over the coming months to battle the alarming rise of Spain’s gambling problem.
The CAJR and the DGOJ would collaborate to work on a list of significant variables that could help identify if a person has a problem with gambling. It would also be conducting more research to evaluate the extent of gambling addiction in Spain.
The DGOJ holds the belief that better decisions could possibly be made by using such information. It also believes that such a measure would offer a path for public policies on the issue. This data can also help with issues that are related, such as the social impact of problem gambling.
One of the key areas of study for the DGOJ would be in relation to the self-exclusion scheme in Spain. This is known as the General Registry of Access to Game Interdictions. The study seeks to identify possible improvements on both an operational and regulatory level.
The focus would be on people on the self-exclusion list. The study would look at the personal situations and backgrounds of these individuals. There would also be an investigation into the operators used by these gamblers.
The DGOJ has also announced the creation of an alert system. This system would flag cases of fraud when people register at an online gambling website. Verification of ID is now a compulsory step for regulators.
There is an existing player verification system that is being utilized by operators in Spain use, which was provided to them by the DGOJ. However, further services are needed as part of this verification system to improve it.
The new alert service would flag any attempts that have been made to register an account using the same personal details as someone who has already registered.
Discussing this system, the DGOJ had this to say: “This complements the rest of the work that the DGOJ is doing to reinforce the guarantees of the identity verification process prior to the activation of user registration.”
These new policies have been launched to tackle concerns about the staggering rates of gambling addiction in Spain.
Online gambling in the country has risen from 2012 to 2017 by an astounding 387%. Spain has also been found to have Europe’s highest proportion of teenage gamblers. The proliferation of gambling has also resulted in numerous protests taking place across the country.