The Online Gambling Observatory (OJO) of the Balearic Islands has published its Annual Report 2021-2022, a compilation of the most relevant data, news and studies on online gambling and other practices that generate addictive behaviours on the Internet, which have been published over the last year, this Saturday, 29 October, on the occasion of the National No Gambling Day.
Among other data, the document shows that in 2021, for the second consecutive year, the Balearic Islands was once again the autonomous community where the number of people requesting to be banned from gambling online grew the most, according to data provided by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Thus, in 2021, the Balearic Islands presented the greatest increase in the number of self-prohibited persons, going from 1,179 to 1,480 in a single year, a rise of 25.53%. (These data do not include the number of self-prohibited persons in the regional register).
The autonomous community where the number of self-prohibited gamblers has grown the most
Nearly 1,500 students have started to gamble or play money online, according to UNICEF data.
The Report also includes data from the study “Impact of technology on adolescence. Relationships, risks and opportunities”, by UNICEF, which was one of the most important studies presented in 2021 on the current use that adolescents make of the Internet, social networks and, by extension, Relationship, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), with an emphasis on risk behaviours and problematic and/or possibly addictive uses.
This study shows that nearly 1,500 students in the Balearic Islands have started to gamble or play money online, a fact that multiplies the risk of developing gambling addiction in the medium term. The research also warns that the social nature of gambling and the conviction that “it is likely to win money playing online” are the two main beliefs that need to be dismantled.
As for video games, the UNICEF study indicates that, on average, Balearic adolescents spend 7.1 hours a week playing video games, although 4.5% spend more than 30 hours. In addition, 1 in 5 spend some money on video games every month, 4.5% more than 30€ per month.
According to these data, the mobile phone is already, ahead of the console, the main device used by teenagers to play video games; and 52.8% of teenagers who play video games regularly (at least once a month) play video games designated by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) as not suitable for under-18s.
The document highlights that, for 17.3% of adolescents in the Balearic Islands, the use of video games is a problem and that a further 2.6% already show symptoms of a possible addiction.
15.20% of secondary school students have played with money in person or on the Internet.
Another of the reference studies reflected in the Report of the Online Gambling Observatory is the ESTUDES survey. In the case of the Balearic Islands, this document offers information on the prevalence of the consumption of different substances, as well as on the perceptions and opinions of the population regarding drugs and other addictions, such as the use of video games, online gambling or compulsive internet use.
According to this study, promoted by the Government Delegation, 15.20% of secondary school students have gambled with money both in person and online, 93.2% of whom are minors. The percentage of men who have played with money in person is 17.7% and of women 12.3%.
The new Bingo Regulation and the Regional Gambling Law, key measures of DG Trade
The document presented by the OJO also publishes the initiatives being carried out by the regional administration, through the Directorate General of Commerce, to prevent addictions, protect minors and the most vulnerable groups, and promote neighbourhood coexistence. In this regard, the new Draft Bill for the Reform of Law 8/2014, of 1 August, on Gambling and Betting in the Balearic Islands, as well as the approval of the Bingo Gambling Regulations, stand out.
The Observatory has also added to the document the data from the State Online Gambling Market Report, where the Directorate of Gambling Regulation of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs explains how gambling operators reduced net margins, as well as spending on sponsorship and promotions, the year in which the commercial restrictions came into force.
The Online Gambling Observatory of the Balearic Islands (OJO) is an initiative promoted by the Department of Energy Transition, Productive Sectors and Democratic Memory, through the Directorate General of Commerce, which aims to search for, develop, publish and distribute information regarding new forms of gambling that may generate addictive, compulsive or pathological behaviour.
The full report is available at: http://www.ojo.cat/sites/ojo/ca/n/lobservatori_del_joc_online_publica_la_memaria_2021-2022/