Spain is one of the most affected, alongside UK and Italy, by the gambling addiction.
Between 2% and 3% of the population has a gambling issue, according to an ElPais study. This is partly due to a low regulation of the gambling, both online and offline.
Figures of the gambling are summarised in the table below:
The major operator in Spain, Sportium, floods the street and the web with fake promotions, as advertised on this kind of website promoting a Sportium ‘codigo promocional'. Behind these promotional operations, no cash is offered in the end. Playing for fun is the illusion of this lie.
Here is a testimonial of an addicted Spanish player published in the BBC:
‘My story started at a very young age. My dad did not know how to read and I, since I was eight years old, I read the horse races and what jockeys participated in them. In my house everyone played. My dad played, my brother too, and I also took that misfortune. I started playing at thirteen or fourteen. At first my father took me and played with him.
Over time it was discovered that it was an incurable and progressive disease. Sometimes he was starving because he did not eat to have more money to play. After getting married, problems began to arise because I left home and did not return in two days because I was playing. In my house there were six of us but at lunchtime they only put five chairs because I never was. My children were very small and they did not realize it, although they lacked the presence of the father in the house. I began to play more and more until I lost the first of the three businesses I had. The least loses a gambler is silver. The compulsive gambler loses family, dignity, the notion of reality, good friends who do not play and are moving away from one …
The situation deteriorated until the separation arrived. I came to the rehabilitation group through a friend who, ironies of life, could not stop playing and in the end committed suicide. The early years were difficult. I had several relapses. But now I have not played for 20 years.Before the game I grabbed the nose and took me, but now I have recovered freedom and dignity I am in a new relationship, I have recovered my children and I am very happy.
Now that I'm fine I would not want to go back to that hell at all. Once I've gotten into it I've remembered how it came out of the gambling houses: ruined, without any weight, I walked up to fifty blocks because even the silver of the taxi used me. Sometimes he was starving because he did not eat to have more money to play. I remember that and I am horrified. I'm afraid to go back to that.
Before the game I grabbed the nose and took me, but now I have recovered freedom and dignity.
The first thing to recover is to accept that you have the problem.'