Gambling is an experience that has been incorporated as one more activity among leisure activities, without any type of problems for most people and with significant social acceptance. However, in the same way that alcohol use can lead to alcoholism or recreational drug use to drug addiction, participation in gambling activities - at least, in some type of games - can lead to a small group of vulnerable subjects, to problematic gambling or pathological gambling, whose consequences go beyond the person directly affected to influence their family or workplace or society as a whole.
Research in this regard has shown that these problems with gambling are not distributed randomly, but rather have an important relationship with the type of games and their degree of hazard, as well as with the behaviour of the players themselves.
SELAE is aware that gambling can be a problem for a small percentage of players in terms of their following addictive behaviour, for this reason SELAE promotes a model focused on gambling responsibly  and in the protection of minors and vulnerable groups, for this reason it has implemented within all its  business processes(from design to sale) the best practices on Responsible Gaming of the European Lotteries. SELAE is regularly audited by an external entity to ensure independently that it complies with these best practices.
What is pathological gambling?
Pathological gambling is a behavioural disorder, recognised as such by the World Health Organization (WHO), which in 1992 defined pathological gambling as a disorder characterised by the presence of frequent and repeated episodes of participation in betting games, which dominate the life of the afflicted person to the detriment of their values and social, work, material and family obligations; this behaviour persists and often increases despite adverse social consequences such as loss of personal fortune, deterioration of family relationships and critical personal situations.
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) categorised compulsive gambling as a substance-free addiction, due to its similarities in clinical expression, origin, physical comorbidity and treatment with the rest of addictions to alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.
For people with this disorder, they have acquired a habit from which they feel unable to break free and the pleasure of playing turns into a feeling of discomfort for them and they continue to play despite repeated efforts to control, stop or curtail their behaviour.
Signs of risky behaviour.
There are certain signs that alert us to showing risky behaviour in relation to gambling, including:
1.- Being frequently concerned about gambling.
2.- Needing to bet increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired level of excitement.
3.- Restlessness or irritability when someone tries to interrupt or stop one’s gambling.
4.- Repeated failure to control, interrupt or stop one’s gambling.
5.- Use of gambling as an escape route from problems or relief from emotional discomfort.
6.- Repeatedly trying to recover the money lost when gambling.
7.- Lying to hide one’s degree of involvement in gambling.
8. Having risked or lost significant interpersonal relationships, work and educational or professional opportunities due to gambling.
9.- Repeated financial support from family and friends.
In the case of seeing yourself reflected in 4 or more of the aforementioned warning signs, you should go to a specialist so that they can help you.
Impact of Problematic Gambling
  • Economic
    • Financial losses / Debts.
  • Emotional
    • Sadness, anxiety, depression, or irritability.
  • Relatives.
    • Breakups, separations and divorce.
  • Work / Academic.
    • Decline in performance / Unjustified absences.
  • Social
    • Neglecting friendships / breaking off relationships.
  • Legal
    • Theft, scams or other criminal activities.
Truths and myths about gambling
MYTH: “If I continue playing, my luck will change and I’ll be able to win back the money that I have lost.”
TRUTH: The chances of winning do not change because we play more, since the result each time we play is independent of the bets we have made previously: your chances of winning do not change over time.
MYTH: “I only just missed it, next time I’ll win.”
TRUTH: The result obtained by a bet is not  affected by one’s previously having been on the verge of winning.
MYTH: “If I place my bet at this point of sale, or with this pen, I have a better chance of winning.”
TRUTH: “The outcome of gambling is NEVER a function of our superstitions.”
MYTH: “My knowledge of the numbers that have come out increases my chances of winning.”
TRUTH: In games of chance based on numbers, winning only depends on luck, not on our knowledge or skills.
What is Responsible Gaming?
This consists in certain good practices, measures and tools that are implemented by operators with the aim of reducing or eliminating the negative impacts that gambling has on some people and especially on the most vulnerable groups.
The commitment by Loterías del Estado to responsible gaming is reflected in the implementation of the best responsible gaming practices and in the measures implemented. Since 2013, Loterías del Estado has been certified by the Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming of the European Lotteries Association. (European Lotteries. EL). It is annually audited by an external entity to verify the compliance of said Association.

The Responsible Gaming management model of Loterías del Estado follows the ten sections defined in EL’s Responsible Gaming Standard: Research, employee training, sales agent training, game design, remote gaming channels, advertising and marketing, referral to treatment services, information for players, dialogue with stakeholders, reporting and certification.

Standard for Responsible Gaming Association of European Lotteries