Czech Youth Risk Online Gambling Addiction

Published Monday, November 21, 2016 -
Czech Youth Risk Online Gambling Addiction

The new laws in Europe and in the Czech Republic regarding gambling have created a situation where  online betting has been filling the void for young people at an alarming rate. A recent article in the Radio Prague news has pointed out the problem among youth in the nation saying the addiction of young people to online gambling has reached critical levels.

The head of the Czech government’s National Anti-Drug Agency Jindřich Vobořil has declared the younger generation is the primary target of the gaming industry. Vobořil commented, “Of course, teenagers are people who grew up with the new technologies and the whole industry is changing towards supporting this type of business. Today’s teenagers are the industry’s future clients. And if we look at surveys conducted among 17-year-olds then 30 percent of them say they have experience with gambling online.”

When asked about what measures are in place to prevent young people from becoming addicted  Vobořil said, “Very little, at the moment. We have a new law which is to come into effect as of January next year that will restrict all types of online gambling, targeting both legal gambling and illegal providers, because we have at this moment lots of illegal providers online, providers who officially sponsor sports in the Czech Republic and have advertisements but they are illegal here. So there will be a massive change as of next year and also for the first time the government has allocated a budget for prevention and treatment. ”

When asked about the 100,000 compulsive gamblers in the country and why only a small percentage looks for help Vobořil said, “Because there were no services available for them. This is the first time that money has been allocated for this field, and we are planning to provide an accessible service, counselling in each of the country’s fourteen districts, seven centres have already been set up and the others are in the pipeline. I would also like to establish online counselling and a helpline should be put into operation in the very near future.”



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