More calls than expected reports StopSpillet in Denmark

Danish regulator Spillemyndigheden reported that its problem gambling helpline StopSpillet received 722 calls during it first year of full operation, which were more than expected.

According to the report, 39% of the calls were from relatives of people suffering from gambling addiction problems, while 57% of people which called StopSpillet acknowledged that they had a gambling problem or concerned about their behavior. The remaining 4% of calls came from professionals. Men accounted for 87% of the calls to StopSpillet, which launched in January 2019.

Linda Lomborg, StopSpillet’s head of division, commented. “Compared to other types of addiction, compulsive gambling is not immediately visible and may be hidden for a long time to the outside world. This emphasises the need for a helpline such as StopSpillet, offering confidential conversations about a problem that can be associated with a lot of guilt and shame.”

The ones which contacted StopSpillet were asked to take a compulsory test to rate the severity of their gambling problem. The scale ranges from zero to nine and a score of between four and nine indicates a degree of problem gambling. The 240 consumers that took the test had an average score of 6.3. This meant according to the Danish Regulator that the service has been assisting players that needed the most help.

690 people answered which type of gambling they were concerned about and 67% cited online gambling as their primary problem. In comparison, land-based gambling at casinos, betting kiosks and gaming machines were the main source of concern for 33% of these callers.

Players who contacted StopSpillet were asked about the age at which they first started gambling, and based on the responses of 326 consumers, some 47% were under 18. A further 37% were aged between 18 and 25 when they gambled for the first time.

In December last year, Spillemyndigheden launched a new campaign to promote the StopSpillet programme and also announced plans to expand the initiative with the addition of a new chat feature on the website, allowing users to speak with an online advisor.

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