In the near future, it shall not be permissible for Spanish gambling operators to provide betting markets for youth sporting events. National regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) made the announcement on 22 July 2019, and explained the gambling industry ramifications.
How the legislation will function is that Spanish sports betting operators will not be allowed to accept wagers on events featuring a majority of players aged 18 years or under. However, the change will not be enforced until the new legislation has been published in Boletín Oficial del Estado, the national gazette of Spain – a date has not yet been announced.
Concern for Minors
When performing a study on national betting patterns, the DGOJ learnt that 5.45% of all wagering in 2018 was made on events for minors. Notably, the number of underage matches staked that year was 874 for football, 638 for volleyball, and 474 for basketball.
After determining the results, the DGOJ expressed concerns that events geared towards minors were at risk of manipulation. The regulator believes underage athletes were at risk of being manipulated due to their lack of maturity.
In updating the legislation, a number of targets have been laid out by the DGOJ. Not only will it aim to protect minors and their rights, but it will also seek to combat the threat of addiction and battle against fraud.
National Commission Established
The timing of the action is telling, considering that a couple of weeks earlier the Spanish Ministry of the Presidency has already established a national commission for the purpose of cracking down on betting fraud and match fixing.
Although in its infancy, the ministry has revealed that the commission will now start to develop plans filled with recommendations that are intended to detect, combat, and prevent all illegal activity in the field of sports betting.