The Inspection of Supervision of Lotteries and Gambling (IAUI), the Latvian regulator of the game, released figures of people affected by problems related to gambling in the country, who have asked for public help to be treated. IAUI revealed that 127 people have so far requested this help and receive state-funded psychological support.
This program launched in July, is specially designed to provide free psychological treatment to those players who have been affected by the game, but also to their family and friends.
The IAUI project in the first four months has developed 12 free sessions in total aimed at treating problematic players. Five other sessions have been organized to serve the relatives and friends of the players who have also been affected.
The support groups have been led by the specialized psychologist Magdalēna Pranaite. During the work sessions, the players meet to discuss their game problems and with the necessary professional help they work together to find a solution to cure their addictions. Troubled players also have free individual psychological therapies.
Pranaite states that
“gambling addiction begins slowly, without realizing it, but solving a problem may require much more effort and is often difficult to achieve.” She also argues that “excessive play affects not only the player, but also their friends and family. It is important that all those affected by the problem receive help during the recovery period.”
Signe Birne, director of IAUI, argues that
“the task of IAUI is not only to supervise the organization of gambling and lotteries, but also to reduce the potential social risks associated with them.” He believes that one of the effective tools and “available to overcome game problems is free psychological support for those who are aware and want to combat excessive play.”
According to Birne with the help of
“a certified professional, the game player and their family members can receive encouragement, support and guidance to address problems in a specific and effective way.”
This initiative of the gaming regulator is part of an extensive program of measures taken by the agency to prevent and combat gambling problems in Latvia. In 2020 the IAUI will present a single self-exclusion record. Its purpose is that consumers themselves can decide to exclude all legal forms of play (licensed and interactive lotteries) offered in the country.
Those players who wish to register, can contact the IAUI and deliver their data personally or through a dedicated website.