Over the past year, Danes in need of counseling on the subject of compulsive gambling have had the possibility to call “StopSpillet” (“StopGambling”). During the first year, the impartial helpline operated by the Danish Gambling Authority received 722 calls, which is more than expected.
The many calls confirm that there is a great need for a national helpline providing advice and counselling about responsible gambling. StopSpillet is not only aimed at players who have acknowledged that they have a problem. The helpline also welcomes calls from players who are in doubt about whether they have a gambling problem, as well as relatives of players, regardless of the severity of the possible gambling problem.
“We can see that most of the players who call fall in the categories of problem and compulsive gamblers. In other words, we get through to those who need us and are able to help many of those who have ended up in an unhappy situation because of gambling," says Director of the Gaming Authority Birgitte Sand.
For some players, a call to StopSpillet may be the first step in recognising that they have a problem. In other cases, the telephone conversation may provide that last motivation to seek treatment.
“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, ”says Linda Lomborg, Head of Division of StopSpillet.
Because the topic is regarded as taboo, it is of great importance that, in addition, the players’ relatives can call for advice and counselling. The advisers at StopSpillet can help to prepare relatives for a difficult conversation with one of their loved ones.
When calling StopSpillet, one is met by competent advisers with great professional insight. They have all undergone an intensive training course. To ensure that assistance is available when needed, the helpline is open from 9am to 9pm on weekdays.
From December 2019, it has also been possible to contact StopSpillet via a chat function at stoppillet.dk. It is a temporary trial period, which will finish in March.
A fact sheet with the statistics for StopSpillet's first year is avaliable for download.
For more information please contact communications responsible Katja Arabelle Antabi, + 45 72 37 93 85, firstname.lastname@example.org
Facts and results from the first year of the helpline StopSpillet