MORE than 70 people have demonstrated against the ‘proliferation’ of betting shops, particulatly near schools.
They gathered outside an Alicante city gambling establishment demanding it be shut down immediately saying they are worried that the shops encourage youngsters to gamble.
The protestors want the city council to enforce a plenary session resolution to ban the slot machine arcades from within a one kilometre radius of schools.
Platform Against the Proliferation of Bets in Alicante spokesman Alvaro Castaños said: “These businesses are making profits at the expense of people’s problems and generate a high degree of gambling and barely hinder access to minors.”
He added that gambling addiction is ruining families and that these businesses increasingly operate in poor neighbourhoods.
He claimed that this “scourge” already affects more than 50 per cent of 17-year-olds and also a significant number of schoolchildren aged 13 and over.
The most significant case recently reported has been the testimony of a mother in Alicante who said that a betting house had let her 14-year-old son enter.
National police recently held a day of action against such shops and found a total of 28 underage children in the establishments targeted.