SBC News Argentina begins talks to reduce youth gambling

Argentina begins talks to reduce youth gambling

Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies has kicked-off discussions on stricter gambling regulations after reports of increased engagement from minors. 

The idea to curb minor participation in gambling and sports betting on a national level has been tossed around ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, when the country collectively launched its regulated online gambling market. 

As reported by SBC Noticias, the most recent legislative talks are focused around limiting the appeal of the sector among young people and those who have self-excluded themselves. 

Currently, 11 different legislative projects have been presented to the Argentinian Addiction Prevention Commission – headed by the Chamber of Deputies. The next step will be to commission a number of field studies assessing their impact, as well as putting out a request for testimonies from various sports clubs and the Argentine Football Association (AFA). 

Eduardo Toniolli, a member of the Chamber of Deputies and a key figure in the debates, has been quite vocal in support of a ‘mass advertising prohibition’ as he believes it is having a negative effect on social relations and the mental health of young people. 

Toniolli also added that “the growth of platforms that turn each cell phone into a potential casino is a problem that must be addressed now”. 

He said: “While compulsive gambling is not only a matter of youth, it is in that age group where the consequences that the problem brings are most seen. We want to start building a great basic agreement to put a stop to digital gambling addiction, an agreement that has as its first point a strong idea: not with the gids.” 

The Deputy’s comments on gambling’s effects on the youth have been backed by the educational sector, with both parents and teachers reporting signs of online gambling addiction among children and students, as per SBC Noticias. 

A recent development from the constituency of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, saw the implementation of a law that blocks access to all online gambling and betting platforms through the WiFi networks of public schools to address the complaints. 

However, the problem seems to be isolated to offshore platforms that do not have a licence to operate in the country, circumventing all of the market’s advertising restrictions and sinking their illegal offerings deep into Argentine’s society. 

To address this issue further, Mónica Frade, President of the Addiction Prevention Commission, has scheduled a meeting for 11 June that will cross-examine what actions can be taken together with the Criminal Legislation, Communications and Informatics, and Social Action and Public Health commissions.

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