Spanish regulator to ban betting on youth sports events
Spanish gambling regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) is to introduce new measures banning operators in the country from offering odds on sporting events where all or the majority of participants are under 18.
The DGOJ said the move will help fight against fraud, prevent addictive behavior, protect minors and also safeguard the rights of participants in sports events.
The new regulations will come into effect as soon as they are published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado, the country’s official state gazette, although the DGOJ did not indicate when this is likely to happen.
The move comes after a study by the DGOJ found that of all the sporting events consumers were able to bet on in 2018, 5.45% were on competitions where the majority of players were minors.
Football was the leading sport with a total of 874 matches available for betting in 2018, followed by volleyball on 638 games and basketball with 474 matches.
In terms of how much punters were wagering, these events were responsible for 1.03% of all bets placed during the past year.
“This measure will help eliminate the possibility of competitions being manipulated through the perversion of sportsmen whose sporting and personal maturity has not yet been completed and, therefore, more susceptible to being influenced,” the DJOG explained.
The new regulations come after the Spain’s Ministry of the Presidency earlier this month also approved the creation of a national commission to combat match-fixing and betting-related fraud.
According to the Ministry, the Commission will “develop action plans [and] recommendations or diagnoses to detect, prevent and combat illegal actions in the field of sports competitions and fraud in betting.”