Russia Providing Problem Gambling Help in St.Petersburg

Published Sunday, February 10, 2013 -

The gamblers in Russia have been told if you want to play you have to travel to the far reaches of the land to find a deck of cards or a slot machine. Russia has banned gambling in all its forms everywhere other than in the government designated gambling zones.

According to a recent article in Russian news source Izvestia the implementation of the no gambling policy has sent many problem punters seeking advice on how to kick their gambling habit. The Bekhterev Psychoneurological Research Institute which is based in St. Petersburg has plans to open a 24-hour clinic for problem gamblers. The article points out that unlike other addictions gambling rarely requires medication but is reliant on psychological help so the concept of a 24 hour clinic is applicable. A clinic spokesperson Olga Ostrovskaya commented, “We already have daytime units for such patients,” Ostrovskaya added, “However, doctors are aware that gamblers have no self-control, so they need to be monitored 24/7.”

Prominent psychiatrist Albert Mukminov, maintains that the people with a gambling problem go through three stages; first, they play for money and try to recover their losses; then they are fascinated by the process itself, and the game becomes the only source of joy in their lives; third comes the disintegration of personality. Mukminov commented, “People of various social statuses come to the clinic. You get normal, everyday people and businessmen. The latter normally lose their business,” Mukminov continued to explain, “It’s the same story for everyone: they go to a casino to relax and relieve stress. When they win — and we know that first-time gamblers are lucky — they think, ‘You can not only relax, but also make money here!’ And this is the hook.”

Problem online gambling is not being dealt with separately but is considered a big problem among the country’s under thirty demographic who spend heavily on computers and phones to give them access to internet gaming sites.

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