Prevention of gambling addiction: Ludens program.

The gambling addiction prevention program, Ludens, is a prevention program developed at the Universitat de Valencia and accredited by the National Plan on Drugs as a good practice program in addiction prevention. It is a universal prevention program aimed at individuals over 15 years old, which has been continuously applied since 2016 in collaboration with the Addiction Service of the City Council of Valencia, and professionals from different autonomous communities have been trained in it.

It is based on the principles of ethical gambling, which emphasize that gambling is an economic activity whose business profits come from the money that players lose while betting. At the same time, it is a potentially addictive behavior and, therefore, it facilitates the development of gambling disorder, a mental disorder classified in DSM-5 and ICD-11, for people who frequently gamble. Although not all games are equally dangerous, some of them, such as slot machines and online gambling, can have serious consequences for mental health and are currently a public health problem.

The Ludens program highlights some of these risks and alerts young people and adolescents about this activity. It uses testimonials from affected individuals and scientific data that support these postulates.


University of Valencia. Spain

Professor of Basic Psychology at the University of Valencia (Spain) and Director of the Research Unit: “Game and technological addictions” at that university. He has published dozens of articles in scientific journals on gambling addiction (basic foundations, prevention, and treatment) and on gambling regulation. He has developed the gambling addiction prevention program, “Ludens”, as well as the psychological treatment protocol “Gambler”. Both have been empirically validated. He has belonged to the Advisory Council for Responsible Gambling of the General Directorate of Gambling Regulation (Ministry of Finance of Spain) and currently participates in advising governments and parliaments (regional, state, and Latin American) in the development of laws and regulations on gambling, as well as in strategies for preventing gambling addiction.