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Danish regulator hails success of StopSpillet helpline

| By Daniel O'Boyle
500 Danes have called StopSpillet, the country’s gambling addiction hotline, in a little over 8 months from its launch at the start of 2019 until 11 September.

Danish gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden has hailed the success of the StopSpillet problem gambling helpline after it was revealed that 500 Danes have used the service since its launch.

For the first first half of the year to June 30, Spillemyndigheden revealed that 348 calls had been made, though this number has risen significantly since July, with a further 152 calls made for the period to 11 September. 

“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.”

Spillemyndigheden added that of the 500 calls, 46% are players and 39% are relatives of gamblers. A further 5% are healthcare professionals, and 10% called for advice on gambling. Men comprise the vast majority of callers, at 85%, with 15% women. However, for relatives calling on behalf of gamblers, women dominate, comprising 69% of callers.

StopSpillet did not provide age breakdowns for the updated figures, but for the 348 calls in the first half of 2019, those aged between 18 and 25 made up the most callers (36.9%) followed by 26 to 35 year-olds (23.3%).

Linda Lomborg, office manager for StopSpillet, said that going forward, StopSpillet would look to ensure that possible problem gamblers were aware that the service existed.

“It's not a great success in itself to have many calls,” Lomborg said. “For us, the success criterion is that those who need us know that we exist. We feel fortunate that the callers feel well-advised and guided to move forward in the process,”

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