efe-epaMadrid

Thousands of people demonstrated on Sunday in cities across Spain to denounce the rapid increase of gambling and number of betting shops and urged "decent" leisure activities as alternatives.

Sports personalities and celebrities sell their images to publicize gambling, a sector that moves enormous sums and whose growing presence on streets and online has sparked alarm among those who see gambling as the next big addiction.

The betting market has undergone an upward progression in Spain since 2014. The latest Directorate General for Gambling Regulation (DGOJ) data suggests that online gambling grew between 2012-2017 by 387 percent, going from 2.8 billion euros ($3 billion) to over 13 billion.