The Responsible Gaming Association has responded in the last year to almost 6,000 calls from people requesting free psychological counseling or simple information about gambling and addiction. 4,000 of them received free counseling and psychotherapy from the Responsible Gaming team specialists.
Specifically, approximately 3,500 people accessed the 24/7 online counseling program, respectively the chat available on the website www.jocresponsabil.ro, in order to talk to psychologists. Most accesses were recorded in December, when about 500 people talked to the specialists in this program. In parallel, through the Responsible Gaming program, the psychotherapy program of AJR, which involves the free telephone line (0800.800.099) and free meetings in one of the offices in Bucharest (2), Cluj-Napoca (1), Iasi (1), Constanța (1) and Craiova (1), approximately 2500 telephone calls were registered. Of these, 900 were for enrollment in psychotherapy sessions, and 650 people arrived in the Association’s psychotherapists’ offices. The other phone calls were related to other requests that the callers had about the platforms or the direct gambling operators.
“Ifthere were no steps like Responsible Gaming, there would probably be no limit and people who need support would be desperate because they have nowhere to find it when they feel the need. That is why the Responsible Gaming Association is so important. Fortunately, most of the cases we encounter are simple gambling problems and can be solved by short-term psychological counseling, and in the case of prevention, things are even better, because this service complements the Adult Coaching education program, carried out by us in high schools in the country to educate teenagers. We have to treat the players with dignity. They are, in many cases, intelligent people, with a fairly good level of education, but people who are under pressure or depressed and to whom we must show respect even if they may sometimes lie to us, hurt us through their behavior. In fact, they are people who need help”, says Dr. Cristian Andrei, neuropsychiatrist and coordinator of the programs of the Responsible Gaming Association.
“The programs of the Responsible Gaming Association have the mission to provide support to those who find themselves in a crisis, to help them overcome the state of anxiety. In parallel, we run educational programs, such as the Adult Coaching program, to educate teens about everything that means adult entertainment and, implicitly, gambling, how to position yourself correctly in relation to the value and earning of money and how to assert themselves in other ways than by having fun or making quick money.” – Ovidiu Iosif, Executive director of the Responsible Gaming Association.
Responsible Gaming Association, an organization funded by the gambling industry, received a total of over 10,000 calls during the pandemic from people who needed guidance on gambling or emotional support to manage the situation generated by the health crisis. In addition to its current activity, in 2021, the Responsible Gaming Association provided its free non-stop psychological counseling service for COVID-19 patients admitted to the “Marius Nasta” Institute of Pneumoftiziology in Bucharest, relatives and medical staff of the hospital, in order to help the improvement of their psychological and emotional state.
Responsible Gaming Association is an organization supported by Fortuna, Superbet, Game World and Unibet Groups, Vlad Casino, Romanian Lottery, Maxbet, Admiral, Stanleybet, Kambi, Las Vegas and BetOne.