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Spain bans sports betting on games featuring underage players

Spanish gaming regulators have issued a new edict that could make life slightly more complicated for sports betting operators; no wagering on games that are being played primarily by underage athletes. The new rule is part of a larger plan by the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) to combat both match fixing and underage gambling.
Under the new rules matches meets the underage standard when they feature, “events that are exclusively or predominantly played by minors,” according to a report on SBC News. The DGOJ goes on to clarify the ban saying that underage events are those that are categorized as “sub-18” by their organizing bodies. This standard applies regardless of the actual age of the players on the field. (Presumably there could be a youth team that’s comprised mostly of 18-year-olds.)
The DGOJ says their main motivation in instituting the ban is to establish a clear separation between underage athletes and the sports betting world as a whole. In doing so, the regulatory body is also clearly looking to prevent shady sports betting interests from pushing vulnerable young athletes to fix matches. This dynamic has vexed sports involving younger athletes, such as tennis, for decades.
Spain is just one of several countries that is putting new emphasis, and new regulations, on its domestic sports betting industry aimed at curbing underage gambling. That said, Spain appears to be the first country to institute a specific ban on wagering involving youth events. The ban is set to go into effect immediately.