It was found at a forum on responsible gambling held at the Estonian Ministry of Finance on Wednesday that it is important to take national steps to reduce gambling addiction, the first of which should be to update the Gambling Act.
“The currently valid law is more than 15 years old and much has changed in the field since then,” Evelyn Liivamagi, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Finance for finance and tax policy, said. “Also, it is important to do everything at the legislative level to ensure that the probability of a person falling into a risk group is as minimal as possible. Today, gambling is very accessible as a result of illegal opportunities, for example.”
According to her, the law establishes requirements for gambling organizers and stipulates measures for the protection of players.
“It should be reviewed whether the current law fulfills its purpose. By updating the law, our wish is primarily to contribute to the reduction of negative effects and consequences in society as a whole,” Liivamagi added.
One of the state’s goals is to keep the addiction level below 2 percent. However, the results of a survey conducted this year show that the rate is now higher. Based on a survey conducted by Kantar Emor, 11 percent of Estonian residents belong to the risk group of gambling addiction.
“According to the survey, problematic gambling behavior is at an alarmingly high level,” Riina Roosipuu, CEO of Eesti Loto, said. “Ensuring player welfare should be the responsibility of all market participants and can be ensured by clear legislation and effective supervision. Although the lottery is a socially accepted form of gambling with the lowest addiction risk, we also consider it necessary to constantly inform the player and supplement the offering of self-control measures. Playing is not a problem as long as it is the conscious choice of an adult.”
According to the survey, 65 percent of Estonian residents have come into contact with gambling. The most popular is participation in number and instant lotteries, which 41 percent of the population has had contact with in the last two years. 7 percent of the respondents have played casino games, 4 percent have played poker, 8 percent have played other games, and 6 percent have participated in sports betting and betting.
The gambling behavior of the population has remained mostly the same in recent years, but the gambling of young people has increased somewhat. They play both online and elsewhere, and mostly less often than once a month, 24 percent of weekly players play online and 17 percent elsewhere.
The responsible gambling forum was organized by the Ministry of Finance and Eesti Loto AS. At the event, the current state of the gambling behavior of the Estonian population was reviewed and problem areas in the field and the necessary actions to regulate the field were highlighted.