Danish gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden has revealed that its StopSpillet helpline has received over 500 calls since its launch earlier this year.
For the first six months of the year, the helpline had received 348 calls from gamblers in Denmark, with a further 152 calls made between 1 July and 11 September.
It is estimated that 46% of those that have contacted the StopSpillet helpline were gamblers, while relatives of gamblers made up 39% of callers.
“Based on experience with similar guides, we had expected 90 in the quarter, so it is overwhelming that so many have already contacted us,” Spillemyndigheden director Birgitte Sand said.
“On the one hand, it would be really good if players or relatives did not have challenges with games. But on the other hand we are of course both happy and proud of the many who have found our way and have shown us the great confidence to seek our help.”
5% of callers were listed as healthcare professionals, while 10% called in search of advice relating to problem gambling and its associated risks. Men comprise the vast majority of callers, at 85%, with 15% of the callers listed as women. However, for relatives calling on behalf of gamblers, women dominate, comprising 69% of callers.
Linda Lomborg, office manager for StopSpillet, explained that StopSpillet would review the ways in which it ensured that problem gamblers were aware of the helpline service. She explained: “It’s not a great success in itself to have many calls.
“For us, the success criterion is that those who need us to know that we exist. We feel fortunate that the callers feel well-advised and guided to move forward in the process,”