Tanel Kiik, the social affairs minister of Estonia, has signed a new directive to help combat and alleviate problem gambling. The Ministry of Social Affairs will provide €200,000 to MTÜ Gambling Addiction Counselling Centre to help gambling addicts and their families.
The social affairs ministry says the issue of gambling among minors is of particular concern.
Kathlin Mikiver, chief specialist at the Ministry of Social Affairs’ public health department, said: “In order to get rid of gambling addiction, it is important to offer individuals who acknowledge their problems, and their relatives, comprehensive help and support via complex services.”
Mikiver noted the problem of racking up debts in order to fuel gaming habits, multiplying the problem and requiring debt counselling.
Exposure to gambling by parents also causes minors to be more likely to develop gambling addictions of their own, either then or in later life, she added.
The support scheme will provide €200,000 to set up free psychological counselling for around 200 problem gamers, along with debt counselling for around half that number.