Going tough on gambling facilities in the city, the Barcelona City Council has confirmed that it would not allow the opening of any new gambling establishments in the city.
The City Council ruled that opening of any new gambling establishments, arcade, bingo hall or casino, will not be permitted and the same has been communicated to the Catalunya’s municipal government.
The city council executives have said that this would be a trial for one year and would help take off the pressure from health networks dealing with increasing gambling addiction.
Currently, Barcelona hosts 53 gambling venues of which 35 are arcades, in addition to 17 bingo halls and the ‘Casino Barcelona’ complex operated by Grup Peralada.
Gambling addiction has been on the rise in Spain. In fact, reports suggest that Spanish teens are the most addicted to gambling when compared with their European counterparts.
A joint study of Spain’s Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers and Madrid’s Association of Psychologists reveal that one out of every five Spanish youth is addicted to gambling.
Moreover, those between the age of 14 to 21 demonstrate a higher affinity for sports gambling than their European counterparts.
With the shocking findings, both the Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers and Madrid’s Association of Psychologists are campaigning for imposing restrictions on gambling adverts and gambling operators.
Earlier this month, 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 largest demonstrations took place in the capital city Madrid where it was organized by the Madrid Platform against Betting Houses (Plataforma de Madrid contra las Casas de Apuestas).