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Alexandru, a 19-year-old from Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania set himself on fire in front of the casino where he allegedly lost $650 at slots. The witnesses watched and didn’t intervene. His body lay charred on the pavement until emergency services arrived.
The teenager identified as Alexandru, lost his life after voluntarily setting himself on fire in front of a casino. He had allegedly lost around $650 at slots. This area of Râmnicu Vâlcea is usually very crowded but despite this, nobody attempted to help him or put out the flames. The tragedy could have been prevented if, in Romania, the laws regarding gambling had been respected.
Alexandru’s mother declared her son’s only vice was smoking. She doesn’t believe he had a problem with gambling. According to her, he left home that morning saying he was going to meet some friends, and then go to a restaurant where he was trying to get a job. She describes him as a very affectionate child who would hug and kiss his family as often as he could.
Strategically positioned within close proximity to schools, slot machines become an easily accessible temptation for teenagers and young adults, capable of wreaking havoc on lives. In March, a legislative proposal aiming to enforce a ban on gambling venues within a 300-meter radius of schools, universities, parks, hospitals, and churches successfully passed the Senate. Unfortunately, its progress came to a halt at the Chamber of Deputies.
Romania has an astounding number of over 12,000 gambling establishments with more than 80,000 gaming machines. Each day, approximately 160,000 individuals engage in gambling, amounting to a staggering one million euros. Theoretically, these slot machine venues maintain a register of individuals acknowledging their gambling addiction and voluntarily requesting to be barred from entering. While the law was officially adopted in November of the previous year, its practical implementation lacks comprehensive guidelines and regulations.