MADRID, July 26 (UPI) -- Amid the recession in Spain, less money is being wagered but more people are gambling because it gives people hope of winning some prize, researchers say.
Javier Ruiz Martinez, a professor at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the Institute of Policy and Governance collected data from the last three years and carried out a series of studies which have enabled them to create profiles of people engaged in activities linked to games of chance in Spain.
The researchers said from 2009 to 2011, the number of people who gambled increased, they gambled smaller amounts of money, but tended toward passive gaming such lotteries and football pools. Regular gamblers played less often.
In 2011, 63.8 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 75 in Spain acknowledged they play some game of chance regularly. In 2009, this figure was only 49.4 percent, the study said.
"The crisis has encouraged people who play only every now and again to wager small amounts, driven by the desire or hope of winning some prize, large or small, that would solve their economic problems or at least alleviate them," Martinez said in a statement. "In times of crisis, society is given to feeding on dreams and games of chance always create the expectation to win."