Switzerland Rolls Out Digital Campaign To Combat Gambling Addiction

Switzerland Rolls Out Digital Campaign To Combat Gambling Addiction October 31, 2019 October 31, 2019 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry October 31, 2019 by Carolyn Dutton

An independent foundation in Switzerland has rolled out a new digital campaign to fight gambling addiction by spreading more awareness, educating people and giving them information on how to prevent it. 

Sucht Schweiz seeks to inform the Swiss people about the dangers of being addicted to gambling and encourage those who have gambling addiction symptoms to get the help they require without further delay. The program outlines all the appropriate measures needed to combat the rise of gambling addictions in Switzerland. 

The campaign is known in German as Spielen ohne Sucht (SoS), which literally means Gambling without Addiction. Sucht Schweiz is using its website to run this campaign and offers a helpline in German as well as in English.

The key focus is to educate gamblers on what they should do to better protect themselves and how not to fall into the typical traps that ultimately lead to gambling addiction.

The campaign also teaches Swiss citizens how to gamble responsibly the same way they’d know how to drink responsibly. Other than spreading informative content across the digital landscape in the form of amusing videos, the SoS campaign seeks to inform gamblers and their loved ones about the various options they have available to deal with potential gambling addiction concerns. 

Sucht Schweiz decided that their SoS program was necessary as a Swiss market survey showed that close to 3 percent of the population is either at risk of becoming gambling addicts or are already gambling addicts. This figure originated from a survey commissioned by the Federal Gaming Commission survey in cooperation with the Swiss Lottery and Betting Board (Comlot). 

New Gambling Laws Should Reduce Addiction Rates

The gambling survey was conducted based on data collected in 2017 by the Swiss Institute for Addiction and Health Research where nearly 19,000 people shared their views. The survey results showed that 2.8 percent of those who responded were at risk of developing gambling addition while 0.2 percent showed signs of pathological gambling behaviour that suggested they were already addicts. A little over 22 percent of those surveyed claimed they gambled online at unlicensed casinos.  

Switzerland implemented new gambling laws earlier this year which should reduce addiction rates. The new laws ban offshore operators from offering gambling services in the country. Unauthorized gambling domains are now blacklisted by regulators to prevent illegal operations from operating in the country. The new law requires ISPs to block user access to gaming websites which has significantly reduced the number of Swiss players accessing unlicensed websites and give the regulator better control of the market.

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world