More and more people in Europe are being banned from online gambling. In Spain, for example, the consumer protection ministry there announced a few days ago that the number of Self-exclusion devices had increased by 6,000 to well over 50,000 in the past year. But why is it that more and more players are excluding themselves from online gambling?
The global corona pandemic is often used as an argument to explain why more and more casino fans are excluding themselves from gambling on the Internet. However, there are already some reports that assume that the number of players with problematic gaming behavior has not yet increased significantly. In the meantime, however, the first countries are reporting increasing numbers of self-exclusions for online gambling.
Gambling self-bans in Spain will rise by around 10% in 2020
The Spanish Ministry of Consumer Protection announced a few days ago that in 2020 over 6,000 people across the country have been banned from online gambling. According to current data, a total of 56,329 people in Spain are blocked from online gambling. The increase from 2019 to 2010 was consequently more than 10%.
According to the Ministry of Consumer Protection, most Self-exclusion are in Andalusia, with 13,811 people (around 25%). In second and third place are Madrid with a share of 17% and Aragon with a share of 9%.
It is interesting that the greatest increase in self-locks was observed in the Balearic Islands. Here the number of self-locks has increased by 57% within one year. This could also suggest that a major problem with gambling addiction is to be expected in this Spanish region now and in the future.
Blocking registers are only available online in Spain
Unfortunately, people in Spain can only reliably exclude themselves from online gambling, as there is a separate self-exclusion register for this. The situation is different for land-based casinos and amusement arcades. Here the player has to block himself / herself separately for each autonomous community in Spain (e.g. Madrid, Andalusia). A nationwide lock register does not yet exist for this. And that even though gambling addiction is a serious illness with numerous symptoms and a sometimes severe course.
For the near future, the responsible ministry, Registro General de Interdicciones de Acceso al Juego (RGIAJ), is planning that such a nationwide block will be possible both in the online area and in the land-based area. In this regard, the Ministry of Consumer Protection has the following comments:
“The aim (…) is to extend the registration to all registers and thus to improve the institutional protection of people and families (…)”
It is not only in Spain that the number of voluntary self-prohibitions for online gambling is increasing. Similar findings have also been made in other European countries with corresponding lock files. It is questionable whether the increased number of self-locks is actually due to the corona pandemic. Finally, the increased number of game bans may also be related to the general rise in popularity of online gambling. In Germany there will also be a nationwide lock file at the latest after the new GlüStV comes into force. So far there have been different requirements in each federal state, in some cases even no nationwide blocking system for land-based gambling halls and casinos.