Estonia to launch state program to combat problem gambling
Estonian Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik has signed a decree allocating 200,000 euros to fund the Gambling Counseling Center (MTÜ). The money will be used to monitor problem gambling among young people and to support the existing treatment center for addiction. In addition, MTÜ gambling addiction analysts will conduct extensive research on the impact of gambling behavior on people.
Funding is provided through partnership agreements designed to allow the Ministry of Social Affairs to work with and support the development and capacity of nongovernmental organizations.
According to the department, the center currently provides free psychological counseling to 200 clients. It also offers help in resolving debt problems.
In Estonia, according to government statistics, the number of people at risk of gambling-related harm has shown an increase over the past year, reaching 7 percent.
Pille-Riin Indermitt, head of the MTÜ Gambling Advisory Center, stated, “The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced an increase in gambling activity among both youth and adults. We understand that the increase in the popularity of gambling is related to the hope of improving one’s financial situation, as job opportunities have significantly decreased. However, this trend is fraught with great problems for the state if we are talking about the development of gambling addiction.”
Recall, Nevada citizens are urged not to visit casinos to avoid the spread of COVID-19.