Professionals urge to regulate access to the young population of Navarra to gambling and advertising

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The associations Antox, Aralar and Proyecto Hombre have encouraged to delve into the prevention of addiction to gambling among young people, since the most determining aspects in their beginning in the game are the ease of access and the fact that it is an activity of normalized leisure.

Representatives of the associations Antox, Aralar and Project Man have encouraged to implement in Navarra more gambling control measures to prevent addiction among youths.

The director of the Suspertu program of Proyecto Hombre, Garikoitz Mendigutxia, the coordinator of the Aralar association, Sergio garcia, and the person in charge of the program Pause de Antox, Blanca Martinez, have presented this Tuesday in parliamentary committee the youth gambling prevention project that they are developing with funding from Fundación Caja Navarra.

Mendigutxia has highlighted that two variables that most affect the behavior of young people in their relationship with drug use and risk behaviors are the availability and accessibility to these as well as the normality with which they are perceived.

In this sense, he has pointed out that all the initiatives that have to do with working with these two variables “are very important”, as well as the “legislative and political initiatives” that regulate issues such as access ages, distances from play spaces , the price or the publicity, since these measures are “the most effective in terms of prevention”.

As revealed by the study Approach to the reality of games of chance in the youth of Navarra, prepared in 2020 as the basis of this project, “minors participate in games of chance and say so without any kind of shame”, considering it a leisure alternative “in many cases due to accessibility” and given the lack of youth spaces , Martinez has pointed out.

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Based on the study, the professional has clarified that “the face-to-face modality of the online is far above because it is much easier for them” because on the Internet “they have to have a credit card or bank details”.

This, García explained, is related to the difference between ethical gambling and responsible gambling, since in the second case the public powers are limited to informing and with this the responsibility is charged only to the person who has problems with gambling. “There is no campaign that says ‘drug yourself responsibly'”, has illustrated.

Another of the problems detected in this report, Martínez indicated, is the “lack of prevention, detection and action” on the part of families, who “did not talk to their children about gambling and gambling addiction” when they did not consider it necessary and because they don’t know how to do it.

To address this problem, Mendigutxia explained, they are working on the creation of a web page to work with the families areas such as the detection of risk indicators in children and prevention, the establishment of guidelines and norms, supervision, giving real information about what gambling entails, types of players or responsible gambling guidelines.

The project for the prevention of gambling in young people is completed with specific initiatives and campaigns, aimed at young people in the activities and places they frequent, such as schools, federated sports or youth houses.

In fall 2019 the Government of Navarra launched an interdepartmental commission to study a regulatory change that would respond to social concern over the growing expansion of the gaming sector in Navarra and decided to suspend for six months the granting of authorizations to open new betting houses, game rooms and bingo halls.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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