The proliferation of bookmakers and online gambling has led the City Council to launch actions to address this problem as an addiction
The Department of Social Welfare of the City of Totana, through the Municipal Drug Addiction Program, plans to promote actions and measures of awareness and prevention against juvenile gambling in this municipality.
The councilman of the branch, Javier Baños, and the municipal technician of this area and responsible for this program, Lucia Gallego, have presented some of the actions that the Consistory plans to develop due to the proliferation of betting houses in Totana and the online game. line in recent times, addressing it as another addiction.
In addition, they have given account of the new regional regulations approved at the end of last September by the regional government in this matter, as well as the requirements required from now on to entrepreneurs and users of this type of establishment.
In the last year and a half in the municipality there have been an evident increase in the gambling halls and betting houses to eight, some of them also located in the vicinity of educational centers, which are causing problems in some family environments and social contexts, as informed the mayor.
"The game provokes the same symptoms as addiction to drugs," explained Lucía Gallego, prevention technician in drug addiction of the Department of Well-being in Totana, who explains that they will also make available to the interested parties a series of questionnaires through which can evaluate if they suffer from pathological gambling.
The Totanero City Council will also carry out an information campaign on all the buildings and municipal facilities;
and this addiction will also be included among the different problems that each course is addressed in primary and secondary education centers in collaboration with professors, who will also provide information on the proper use of new technologies.
The Councilor for Social Welfare criticized the delay with which the regional government has acted to prevent the proliferation of gaming and gambling halls in the Region of Murcia and indicated that "we arrived late in some measures approved by the Governing Council".
Recent regional normative modification
The Autonomous Community has agreed to a reform of the regulation that will mean in practice the freezing of the current park of premises, amounting to 330, according to data from the Ministry of Finance.
In fact, the autonomous Executive has suspended the granting of more authorizations in order to avoid in the coming days a possible flood of requests by companies in order to benefit from the previous regulation, much more permissive with this activity.
As explained by the municipal technician, the modification of the Betting Regulations of the Community aims to rationalize access to gambling halls and specific gambling venues and protect the most vulnerable groups, such as minors and people at risk of compulsive gambling.
For this, it is going to require the installation of an automatic blocking system in the betting terminals to prevent access to minors and users who are registered in the General Registry of the Game and have restricted the practice of the game.
The premises must also have a reception service where all the people who access the establishment will be identified.
The new regulation also modifies the procedure to authorize the opening of new premises, so that if two requests converge in the same radius of influence, the Ministry of Finance will inform the applicants if there is already an open procedure within the perimeter to which they aspire.
Likewise, Lucía Gallego explained that a period of public consultation has begun through the Portal of Transparency www.transparencia.carm.es to reform in depth the normative framework for planning the game and betting in the Region of Murcia and adapt it in this way to the new needs.
Until the entry into force of the new rules on gambling in the Region of Murcia, the granting of new authorizations for the opening of gambling halls and specific betting venues, including bingo halls, is temporarily suspended, as reported.
The councilor reiterated the need for people affected by this disorder or their families to get in touch with the technicians of this municipal department to channel the situation and derive the problem in order to help them, while stressing that they will increase preventive actions with workshops regarding the game and the use of new technologies in adolescent and youthful ages.
Also, he urged the administrations to regulate the publicity of the betting houses, because according to said, "this is a problem of addiction just as it is the tobacco or the alcohol, and today it is unthinkable to see advertising campaigns announced these products".