- Barcelona tightens the regulations to open gambling venues, game rooms, bingo halls and casinos.
- There are currently 51 stores with these characteristics in the city.
- In the last year, 6.7% of the population between the ages of 15 and 64 gambled online and 63.6% did so in person.
In 2019, the opening of shops was suspended in the city. new gambling establishments, game rooms, bingo halls and casinos in order to work on the regulations that have now been defined, which establish the conditions that any person interested in opening a new premises of this type must comply with.
In order to open, gaming and betting venues or similar will have to be maintained away from equipment for protected uses. Thus, the regulations establish that they must have a minimum distance of 800 meters from any educational center and 450 meters from other facilities such as libraries, social service centers, civic centers, youth and neighborhood centers, Servei centers d’Ocupació de Catalunya (SOC) or health centers.
Protecting citizens in the face of a growing problem
These criteria respond to the need to protect the most vulnerable groups regarding the development of a possible problem or pathological gambling. Among these groups are minors and young people up to 21 years of age, people with mental health problems or addictions and those who are most at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
And it is that in the State the problem of pathological gambling is increasing. The data from the EDADES survey (Home Survey on Alcohol and Drugs in Spain), carried out by the Ministry of Health, show that in the last year 6.7% of the population between 15 and 64 years old gambled money online and a 63.6% did it in person. Statewide, 670,000 people are considered to have gone on to develop possible problem gambling or a gambling disorder.
If we pay attention to the group of young people, between 14 and 18 years old, the EDADES survey indicates that 14.6% of the population has played online and that 37.2% has done so in person in the last year.
A plan against pathological gambling
In October 2019, the Pathological Gambling Prevention Plan was launched, which incorporates measures that focus on health prevention, such as the limitation of advertising in municipal spaces, prevention projects in schools and specific projects on addiction to screens at the Center for Attention and Monitoring of Drug Dependencies (CAS) in Horta. At present, in Barcelona there are 51 establishments of this type: 35 game rooms, 15 bingos and 1 casino. In the last year the number of bingos has been reduced by two.