With everything from slot machines in bars, numerous casinos and heavy sports betting operations, Spain has a fairly strong gambling infrastructure. Among European Union (EU) countries which have legalized industries, it also supposedly has one of the lowest problem gambling segments, and the country wants to ensure it remains that way. Gambling addiction will be considered a mental disorder going forward.

Spain’s gambling regulator, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) gave the designation two days ago. In approving the label, now problem gamblers can more easily look for treatment in ways similar to those provided for other mental disorders. The DGOJ’s acknowledgement follows that of the Responsible gaming Advisory Council (CAJR, for its Spanish acronym), and will greatly boost efforts in the country to limit out-of-control spending on gambling.

Both the DGOJ and the CAJR are sure that the measure will help overcome gambling addiction before it turns into a real issue. Now they will both discuss together to formulate guidelines and indicators which can be used by medical experts to identify, and probably treat, problem gambling.

As reported by calvinayre.com, gambling has become one of the most talked-about subjects across all of the EU, as well as in other regions. Although the countries in the Union have varying opinions about how the activity should be managed and controlled, there is a common theme throughout the region to help make sure that gambling addiction is reduced.

Last year all forms of gambling advertisement were banned in Italy. Ads are strictly controlled and the types of gambling allowed have been locked down in the U.K. There is discussion going on about restricting ads in Spain, with some individuals wanting a complete ban similar to that seen in Italy. Most likely that won’t happen however; at least not in the near future.

Nonetheless, what is happening is the formation of a registration service which would list all problematic gamblers to stop them from placing wagers. The system is designed to inform the business in order to allow it to step in if someone with an addiction were to try to gamble, Furthermore, a system to validate ages and identities will be enhanced so that anti-money-laundering laws can be followed more strongly, and to avoid minors from being able to place wagers online.

Those changes reflect ones seen in the U.K., although Spain’s northern neighbor looks determined on taking gambling oversight over the top. Even though it is losing money and jobs, and sending gamblers offshore, it doesn’t seem that the U.K. will be backing down on its policies anytime soon. Neil McArthur, the chief executive for the U.K. Gambling Commission, explains about the country’s new controls, “These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling.”