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Germany hosted gambling addiction awareness day

Intending to educate German gamblers about the importance of responsible gambling, the country’s Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) hosted a day dedicated to raising awareness of problem gambling.

The Aktionstag Glucksspielsucht 2019 took place on Wednesday (25 September), and is expected to reoccur annually, on the final Wednesday every September. This year edition was based around the slogan “Don’t play until you’re addicted” (“Spiel nicht bis zur Glücksspielsucht”) and was accompanied by the launch of a new web portal, Check-dein-Spiel.de (Check your play).

The awareness day offered players information regarding the various forms of gambling available across Germany, in addition to a self-test feature. Should they be classed as at-risk or addicted, they will be advised on measures they can take to change their behaviour.

“(It) is important to inform people and make them aware of the addictive native of gambling before they develop problems. This is why the BZgA is offering online and offline information and counselling services, in several languages, for gamblers and their relatives,” explained BZgA chief Dr Heidrun Thaiss.

The BZgA has recently published figures that reveal around 1.5 million 16 to 70 year-olds claim to have played slot machines at least once in the past year. These machines, it said, are particularly popular among the 18 to 25 age bracket.

The Federal Ministry of Health subsidiary estimated there are around 500,000 people across Germany that can be classed as problem gamblers, with Slot players making up around 120,000 of this number.

“Products offering fast gameplay and short intervals between payouts tend to lead to players gambling more often and spending more money than intended,” added Dr Thaiss.

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