Pedro [nombre ficticio] He was 18 years old when he started flirting with girls. bets. Not much, she bet one or two euros on roulette and things like that. It was a game that seemed harmless at first.
I was studying a Vocational Training cycle, had always been “a good boy, the perfect son.” His mother, Susana, defines him as “a saver and worker.” But when Pedro was 20 years old The pandemic arrived and he had to spend a lot of time locked up at home with the computer and without contact with friends… “and things got worse.”
His parents began to get worried about his continuous requests for money: “Make me a ‘bizum’, make me a ‘bizum’,” Susana remembers insisting.
In response to the warnings that Susana and her husband gave him, the young man responded with a phrase that was as typical as it was false: “I’ll leave this whenever I want.”. It was not true: Pedro was a addicted to online sports betting.
At the age of 23 he passed the point of no return when They fired him for stealing from one of the two jobs he had. He there recognized the problem, He removed the apps from his phone and closed the accounts. But after two months they verified that a new profile had been created and that it was the same again. There they confronted him again and that is when they went to Project Man.
Spend your payroll in two days
After a year of therapeutic workPedro He was discharged last week. He is working and happy, but along the way he has left a university degree half completed in addition to thousands of euros spent. How much? The parents estimate that more than 8,000 euros. When she began to have access to her account, Susana says that she was shocked: “The payroll came in and two days later I had nothing”. He even asked for a loan.
This mother explains that she not only spent money on betting apps: she also spent money on paying people who offer advice on how to play online through different portals on the Internet.
From what she has seen with her son, Susana has confirmed that in general “they make it very easy for you” to play and also to get hooked: “You think you are an expert, that you are going to know more than the apps, you win something and then bets to win more… it’s a fish that bites its own tail,” he laments. This mother, who offers a reflection and a warning: “I believe that it happens to many parents like it happened to me, who believed it was unthinkable that my son would come to this, but anyone can fall.”.
The figures from the Report on Behavioral Disorders Studies of 2022, made at the national level, reflect that 6.5% of the population of between 15 and 24 years old, money is gambled internet. Between 25 and 34 years of age the prevalence increases to 8.4%. According to this work from the Ministry of Health, the starting age of online gaming is 15 years.
Now Pedro has already been discharged and Susana and her husband are calmer, although they are aware that the temptation is there, on their cell phone, in their pocket.