Several Spanish cities witnessed massive protests against an unprecedented spike in gambling activities and increase in the number of betting shops in the country in recent months.
While the protestors rallied against the proliferation of gambling, the protestors also demanded the activity be banned and replaced with other leisure adult entertainment.
The gambling market in Spain has been growing and is amongst the largest in Europe. According to the figures released by the country’s gambling regulator, the Directorate General for Gambling Regulation (DGOJ), Spain’s gambling market grew 387% between 2012 and 2017, from €2.8 billion to more than €13 billion.
The largest demonstrations took place in the capital city Madrid. The Madrid rally was organized by the Madrid Platform against Betting Houses (Plataforma de Madrid contra las Casas de Apuestas). The number of betting shops has shot up significantly in the city. Reports suggest that the number of betting shops in Madrid grew by 300 percent since 2013.
Recently, the Spanish government confirmed that it will consider the recommendations made by the country’s civic ombudsman.
According to the reports from the local media, the government will soon be drafting a ‘Royal Decree’ to introduce restrictions on gambling adverts through a federal law that will hold good for all Spanish provinces.
Earlier in May, Spain’s Acting Ombudsman, Francisco Fernández Marugán, said that he wanted a ban on gambling adverts in the country.