Spanish survey finds decrease in at-risk gamblers

The survey estimated a prevalence of gamblers at risk of 2.2 per cent.
The survey estimated a prevalence of gamblers at risk of 2.2 per cent.

A new survey estimates that 670,000 people either have gambling problems or are at risk of developing them.

Spain.- A study published by the Spanish Ministry of Health has estimated a drop in the prevalence of gambling disorders in the country.

The Survey on Alcohol and other Drugs 2019-20 estimated a prevalence rate of 2.2 per cent, down from 2.6 per cent in 2017-2018.

The survey estimated that 670,000 people aged 15 to 64 years old either have gambling problems or are at risk of developing them.

The estimate was calculated using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-V) scoring system. The results were based on a survey of 17,899 people carried out in February and March.

The survey found that 6.7 per cent of the population in the age group 15 to 64 gambled online last year, an increase of 3.5 per cent on the 2017-18 study. 

In-person gambling was far more widespread with 63.6 per cent playing through retail sites, up from 59.5 per cent in the previous survey.

Lotteries remained the most common form of gambling, played by 94.4 per cent of respondents, followed by instant-win games like scratchcards by 24.9 per cent and football pools by 14.6 per cent.

For the first time, the survey included a further study of 1,443 people aged over 64. It found that the prevalence of at-risk players in this age group was 1.3 per cent.

A higher proportion (68.3 per cent) gambled in person, while only 2.4 per cent gambled online. 

The results of the survey come as Spain introduces strict new limits on gambling advertising.

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