The Province of Buenos Aires presented a package of measures to combat youth gambling

The Province of Buenos Aires presented a package of measures to combat youth gambling
The Province of Buenos Aires presented a package of measures to combat youth gambling

The Buenos Aires government claims that the problem has “worsened” and assures that 80 percent of gambling takes place on illegal platforms.

Argentina.- The Government of the Province of Buenos Aires presented a program to combat illegal online betting, for which launched an interdisciplinary working table that will be structured into seven points related to the creation of a gambling addiction observatory, awareness raising in schools, regulation of advertising, control and attention to the problem in mental health centers.

According to the Digital Wellbeing survey conducted by the Province, 22 percent of teenagers use the phone for more than 8 hours and almost half do so for more than five hours, while 34.4 percent bet at least once. “The relationship with the digital environment is very deep in this population; gambling addiction is not only individual, it has a social and community order,” said the Minister of Health of Buenos Aires, Nicolás Kreplakwithin the framework of the presentation of the program.

The Buenos Aires government, which has already begun to work on the problem together with the City of Buenos Aires, also reported that “more than 90 influencers” who promote these illegal online sites have already been reported, and that if they do not stop with these advertisements, they will be warned by means of legal letters.

At the press conference to present the program, the Minister of Government, Carlos Blanco, said that “80 percent of betting takes place on illegal platforms“and gave details about the inter-ministerial working table to combat the problem.

“It is a problem that has worsened not only among adolescents but also in the family environment,” said the minister. In this regard, he said that the new Buenos Aires program is structured in seven axes and He demanded that the national government “get involved” in the subject.

For his part, the Secretary of Culture and Education, Alberto Sileonireferred to the “constant invitation” that online betting by major sporting competitions implies for young people and pointed to football.

“Of course it is important to distinguish between legal and illegal gambling, but we must also point out a certain cynicism when, at the Copa América and the Euro Cup, and on the shirts of the major Argentine teams and the national team, there are advertisements about gambling sites, which means a constant invitation to gambling for young people,” he said.

See also: Argentina: The analysis of projects on child and youth gambling addiction is progressing in the House of Representatives

In addition, the Minister of Security of Buenos Aires, Javier Alonsoreferred to the need for the Central Bank to establish a parental control system on transfers made by minors and for the Financial Information Unit (UIF) to work on strategies to monitor the financial flows of those who are part of the illegal gambling network, while calling for greater controls on the use of virtual wallets among children.

The seven points of work

  • Creation of the Observatory of Adolescent Gambling Addictiona network of studies and analyses to understand the underlying problems.
  • Conducting awareness campaigns and dissemination of information about the dangers of compulsive gambling, through forums, talks, distribution of awareness-raising materials, teacher training and financial education programs.
  • Controls: include the submission of biometric data on all sites to discourage underage gambling. “In all 4,700 schools, we are going to block the IP addresses of all gambling sites,” said Bianco.
  • Treatment and care: prevention and assistance for online gambling addiction through the 0800-225-462 line and the promotion of gambling addiction centers located in various cities in the interior such as Necochea, Olavarría, Bahía Blanca, Tandil and Pergamino.
  • Detection and reporting: the creation of a commission against illegal gambling. “We ask for the collaboration of the national government, we need the collaboration of Enacom and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to block these sites, most of which are hosted in tax havens abroad,” added Bianco.
  • Regulation of advertising through the Institute of Lotteries and Casinos in the regulation of advertising with preventive legends so as not to associate it with personal success.
  • Interjurisdictional cooperation: working table with the City of Buenos Aires and the necessary regulatory adjustments also in the Buenos Aires Legislature. “The borders are very blurred, it is a complex issue and the neighboring jurisdiction is also concerned,” said Bianco.
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