The Acting Ombudsman, Francisco Fernández Marugán, warned today of the danger of the proliferation without control of the phenomenon of gambling and advertising of betting houses, especially for young people.
"The phenomenon of spreading the game without control, and especially if the players are underage, has characteristics similar to those of tobacco or drug use," the Ombudsman said in a statement.
The institution has opened an ex officio action before the Ministries of Finance and Health, Consumption and Social Welfare to have more information about this phenomenon and to know the possibilities of a "more decisive intervention" by the public authorities regarding the rights of minors and of the advertising limitations, already present in the legislation.
Fernández Marugán, who plans to expand her performance before the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), the autonomous communities and the city councils, considers it necessary for the public authorities to study more thoroughly the proliferation of gambling establishments.
The institution has received complaints about "constant and continuous advertising" on television and online media of betting ads.
In these complaints, citizens are concerned that in Spain there is "a serious problem" with gambling related to this type of advertising and remember that this addiction not only harms the health of the player, but his family and their environment.
Fernández Marugán has stressed that public authorities are bound by the Constitution to ensure that leisure is used properly.
And he recalled that the National Addiction Strategy refers to new technologies and gambling and that the General Law on Audiovisual Communication and the Law on the regulation of gambling include measures to protect minors and prevent addictive behavior.