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Visit Spain now, as I did recently, and you will notice a new feature of its highstreets – gambling centres advertising a variety of ways of gambling including sports betting. Spain has always been well-known for its street selling of lottery tickets for the ONCE charity for the blind and others with disabilities, and in recent times for the proliferation of gambling machines in bars. But these gambling centres are new and not a traditional part of Spanish streets. Combined with evidence that Spain may have one of the highest rates of teenage problem gambling in Europe, they have provoked street protests in Madrid and other Spanish towns against the gambling centres popping up all over the country, inevitably near to schools, parks and leisure centres. Protesters call for the complete elimination of these centres which they believe are thoroughly bad for neighbourhoods. How interesting that in this other western European country, which so many Brits know well, people should take to the streets over the dangers of gambling, to young people especially. In the last few years Britain has seen widespread criticism of modern gambling on the part of campaign groups, parliamentary committees and public health bodies, but not yet public protests. See Global Gambling Guidance Group (G4), info@gx4.com, 11 October 2019.
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