The Responsible Gambling Association, reporting 7000 hits online or by phone in the last year.

Monday, 11 March 2024

“For 2024, we want to scale the programs nationwide. To make an impact, it is essential to have adequate resources and support from government institutions.” 

The Responsible Gambling Association

In 2023, the Responsible Gambling Association responded to more than 7000 calls from people who, via the chat available on the website www.jocresponsabil.ro or the free phone number Tel-Verde, asked for help, free psychological counselling or simple information about gambling and addiction.

Specifically, in the last year, on the Live Chat on the Responsible Gambling website, psychologists answered a total of more than 5100 chats, a slight decrease compared to the previous year (-1.5%).  As for phone calls to the Tel-Verde number 0800.800.099, 1942 calls were registered last year. Of these, 533 were requests for enrolment in the Responsible Gambling programme, which involves 3 free psychological counselling sessions in one of the AJR offices in the country, most of them in Bucharest & Ilfov.  Thus, in 2023, compared to 2022, there was an increase in applications from Bucharest & Ilfov, Transylvania and Moldova, a stagnation in those from Banat, Crișana & Maramureș and a decrease in those from Oltenia and Muntenia. 401 people came for the first time for counselling and a total of 626 sessions were offered. Most applicants are from Bucharest, i.e. 390. Interesting to note here is that the number of players who enrolled themselves in the programme increased, while enrolment by friends or relatives decreased. The number of applicants playing online or mixed games has also increased, while retail-only players has decreased.

In parallel with the two counselling programmes, the online support group programme continued in 2023. We started the year with five virtual support groups, four groups dedicated to players (around 40 participants) and one group dedicated to supporters (20 members).

At contact@jocresponsabil.ro we often receive requests for self-exclusion/withdrawal of account (274), clarifications, information about the game, bonuses, how the applications work, etc. (239) and requests to join the Association’s programmes or for advice (161). All categories increased significantly from 2022.

“Browsing Safely”, the first publicly funded project

In 2023, 1736 students from 15 high schools in Bucharest and Focșani participated in the educational programme Trained for coming of age (Antrenat de Majorat), now in its seventh year.  The beginning of the 2023-2024 school year was dedicated to the “Browsing Safely” project. “Browsing safely: Preventing gambling addiction, technology and fighting bullying among young people” is a project that was funded by the City Hall of Sector 2 Bucharest, which had a major contribution in the area of education of students, adolescents, parents and teachers in Sector 2 on three levels: gambling addiction, technology and bullying. It was the first project financed from public sources.

Browsing Safely

In fact, thanks to the partnership with the School Inspectorate of Sector 2, the Responsible Gambling Association managed to reach, with the Trained for coming of age programme, 3200 students with whom Dr. Cristian Andrei discussed to educate and prevent possible gambling problems.

As far as the training of employees in the industry is concerned, the training curriculum has been defined for three categories of employees (in gaming halls, betting agencies and call centre/customer support). Six training sessions (each with two modules) have been organised over the past year, attended by 120 employees from most sponsors.

 

A prevention project that the Responsible Gambling Association supported was through the theatre play “God doesn’t watch matches”. Teo Spătaru, a former gambling addict, now a psychologist and playwright, obtained funding from the Timișoara – European Cultural Capital project budget to stage this play. It was performed in the Roman-Catholic Church in Timișoara, with an audience of around 200 and the presence of AJR psychologist Vladimir Ungureanu in the debates.

The work of the Responsible Gambling Association in 2023 was entirely funded by the business environment (private and state), but at the same time we are in constant contact with ONJN, communicating the progress of our programs and new initiatives in the area of Responsible Gambling. In addition to the membership fees of the founding members, ROMSLOT, ROMBET and Romanian Bookmakers, the substantial support of the sponsors makes the association’s programs run at the current scale. The operators who have made our programs possible and to whom we would like to thank are: Superbet, Fortuna, GameWorld, Romanian Lottery, Unibet, Superbet Foundation. Casa Pariurilor, Maxbet, Betano, Vlad Cazino, Admiral, Player, Stanleybet. Get’s Bet, Winbet, Kambi, Slotv Casino, WinBoss, Frank Casino, Win2.ro, AOPJNR, Mr Bit, Las Vegas, Betone.

Antrenat de Majorat in 2023

For 2024, the Responsible Gambling Association has set out to achieve an important goal for the benefit of the society: the materialization of an involvement and financial support from ONJN – so long awaited by the industry, the media, civil society and, last but not least, the beneficiaries of our programs and their families. With the help of which we will be able to scale up our programmes to a national level, benefiting all those facing problems related to excess gambling. Believing that such collaboration can make a significant impact on addiction issues, and taking into account the different amounts of money being collected from operators starting in 2024, we want to take our existing programs to the next level. The Responsible Gambling Association has expertise in all treatment methods, but scaling up to a national level requires support from state institutions. We are aware that in order to have a lasting impact and reach a wider audience, it is essential to have adequate resources and support from government institutions. The Responsible Gambling Association is an essential cooperation tool for all players in the industry, given our common goal to contribute to the wellbeing of the society. We are committed to delivering programmes of a new scale, addressing responsible gambling issues in a holistic and effective way,” says Ovidiu Iosif, Executive Director of the Responsible Gambling Association.





Author: Editor

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