gambling

   It is estimated that Spaniards are the biggest gamblers in Europe and the third biggest in the world, after Americans and Filipinos. Among the figures on which this judgement is based is one showing that in 1991 gamblers lost a total amounting to a sixth of what was spent on food and 50 percent more than the total spent on alcohol and tobacco. In the same year, on average, every Spaniard over sixteen years of age staked the equivalent of over US $500 or £300, not counting what was spent on slot machines. Outlets for legal gambling are private casinos, bingo halls and slot-machines (all controlled by the Ministry of the Interior), public lotteries and the football pool (controlled by ONLAE), and the lottery organized by ONCE. The relaxation of gambling laws in 1977 has increased by a factor of five the gross amount spent on legal gambling, compared with the Franco era. Of the twenty-six casinos registered in 1996, eighteen were opened between 1979 and 1981, and, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, they accounted for about 5 percent of the money gambled. Bingo halls, by comparison, have proved enormously popular, with 752 authorized by 1984, a figure which had dropped to 539 by 1996, when they accounted for just over 19 percent of gambling. The ubiquitous slot-machines, appropriately named tragaperras ("money-eaters"), attracted a massive 34 percent of gamblers" money, a good deal more than individual lotteries (such as the national lottery at over 17 percent and ONCE at about 12 percent), and second only to lottery sales as a whole, which stand at over 38 percent. The official football pool, known as the Quiniela and dating back to the Franco era, trailed far behind at just over 2 percent. The extension of legal gambling has not meant the end of illegal gambling. In the 1980s, it was estimated that something like 500,000m pesetas were staked on activities like card and domino games in bars, and, in the Basque region, sporting and cultural events.
   See also: sport and leisure
   Further reading
   - Hooper, J. (1995) The New Spaniards, Harmondsworth: Penguin (chapter 13, "High Stakes", gives a very informative account of the subject).
   EAMONN RODGERS

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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  • GAMBLING — was known to the ancient world. Games of chance were an appreciated pastime, often turning into addiction, among the Greeks – Herodotus relates that the Lydians supposedly invented some games (History 1:94); among the Romans, who are known to… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Gambling — • The staking of money or other thing of value on the issue of a game of chance Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Gambling     Gambling      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • gambling — gam‧bling [ˈgæmblɪŋ] noun [uncountable] the practice of risking money or possessions on the result of something uncertain, for example a card game or a race: • The lottery is probably the most popular form of gambling. • He wants to outlaw… …   Financial and business terms

  • gambling — n. [p. pr. of {gamble}.] the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize); as, his gambling cost him a fortune. Syn: gaming, play. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gambling — index speculation (risk) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 gambling …   Law dictionary

  • Gambling — Gamble redirects here. For other uses, see Gamble (disambiguation). Caravaggio, The Cardsharps, c. 1594 Ga …   Wikipedia

  • Gambling — ➡ nightlife * * * Betting or staking of something of value on the outcome of a game or event. Commonly associated with gambling are horse racing, boxing, numerous playing card and dice games, cockfighting, jai alai, recreational billiards and… …   Universalium

  • gambling — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ compulsive, pathological (esp. AmE), problem ▪ He went to a psychiatrist about his compulsive gambling. ▪ illegal ▪ The police are trying to stop all illegal gambling …   Collocations dictionary

  • gambling — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Games of chance Nouns 1. gambling, gaming, risk, betting, dicing, bookmaking, speculation, laying odds; bet, stake, wager, ante, pot, pool, kitty, bank, progressive betting, betting system, spread;… …   English dictionary for students

  • gambling — gam|bling [ˈgæmblıŋ] n [U] when people risk money or possessions on the result of something which is not certain, such as a card game or a horse race →↑betting ▪ The lottery is probably the most popular form of gambling. ▪ gambling debts ▪ The… …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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