German healthcare and addiction support agencies will participate in the first-ever national “Gambling Addiction Treatment Day” on Wednesday 28 September.
The initiative is led by Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA), the Federal Agency of Health Education, with the event supported by Bundestag Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Treatment Burkhard Blienert.
Launching the campaign, BZgA outlined that “gambling addiction is now required to be a relevant social topic across Germany’s sixteen federal states”.
The BZgA has called for greater cross-lander cooperation on the treatment and the reporting of gambling disorders, following the federal approval of the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2021 ‘GlüNeuRStv Regime’ – that came into force on 1 July 2021.
At the start of the year, BZgA launched a dedicated ‘federal advice helpline’ for victims of problem gambling (telephone: 0800 1 37 27 00) and further announced its first safer gambling campaign of “Check dein Spiel’ (‘Check your Game’).
In a survey carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic, the BZgA reported circa 229,00 problematic gamblers alongside a further 200,000 adults detailing pathological gambling disorders in Germany.
Supporting the BZgA’s campaign, Commissioner Blienert alerted that federal agencies should draw attention to protecting children and teenagers from “the risks of sports betting”.
The BZgA’s campaign has been launched independently from the Gluecksspiel (GGL) – Germany’s new federal gambling regulator formed on 1 July.
In its remit, the GGL consults the BZgA as an advisor on public health policies. However, the treatment and support of gambling addiction are individually overseen by the States Offices for Addiction.
The GGL has underlined that it will support all German healthcare agencies through its federal player registry that must be observed by all GlüNeuRStv licensed operators.
Further protections ensure that all GlüNeuRStv operators must maintain a comprehensive “system for the early detection of gambling addiction”, self-exclusion tools and self-impose a mandatory deposit limit of €1000 per month.