22 Mar, 2024 @ 17:00
1 min read

Online gambling skyrockets among young people in Spain

GAMBLING has soared among young people in Spain since the Covid pandemic according to the Directorate-General for the Regulation of Gambling

The number of people aged between 18 and 25 years having a flutter has risen by 41% since 2019.

The average amount of bets has also gone up from €215 per year in 2019 to €333 in 2023.

The study says the 18-25 age group was very close last year to being the main age range for gambling, only surpassed by those aged 26-35, which has seen a 12% rise since 2019.

Extra time at home combined with the proliferation of gambling phone apps during the Covid pandemic are said to be responsible for the upward trend.

The four main gambling areas are virtual versions of betting, bingo, poker and casino.

The survey reveals the most popular category is online betting on sports events and mobile games.

The technical director of the Spanish Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers (FEJAR), Juan Lamas, says that players in the 18-25 age group start gambling with savings built up over the years or from money within a family budget.

There has also been an increase in the number of microcredits they request- a de facto personal loan.

Lamas warned that younger gamblers even use scholarship money or carry out petty thefts within their family to fund their habit.

In 2023, Spain recorded close to 1.6 million active players, representing an annual growth of 2.7%.

This is a figure that has grown by 30% since 2016, when data began to be collected.

It is a sector dominated by the presence of men, with eight out of 10 players being male.

The study also says that for all ages, the busiest months are those in the last quarter of the year.

Juan Lamas believes that’s due to extra payments being received during that period and also extra advertising promoting the Christmas Lottery.

He also believes that with younger people, the time period coincides with the holidays in training centres and universities.

The Directorate’s report also details that the majority, two-thirds, are loyal to a single betting operator or no id verification casino list.

It also points out that the bulk of gamblers, eight out of 10, end up losing more money than they win- a trend that has grown by 8% in the last eight years.


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