Saxony-Anhalt: Counseling network for gambling addicts is a long time coming

Parallel to the permit for virtual slot machine games, online poker and online casino games, there should also be more support for people addicted to gambling.

Saxony-Anhalt: Counseling network for gambling addicts is a long time coming

Parallel to the permit for virtual slot machine games, online poker and online casino games, there should also be more support for people addicted to gambling. But not yet the counseling centers.

Magdeburg (dpa/sa) - The planned state-wide advice network for gambling addicts in Saxony-Anhalt will not be created this year. Regrettably, the establishment of the special advisory network for gambling addiction help and gambling addiction has been delayed, the Ministry of the Interior said when asked. The reason for this is the necessary changes to the funding guidelines. In the meantime, an association involved in addiction help has expressed its interest in wanting to get involved in setting up the counseling network. Coordination talks are currently underway.

There is currently only one advice center specializing in gambling in the country. It is located in Magdeburg and is supported by the Diakonie Jerichower Land - Magdeburg. A state coordination office and five regional advice centers are planned. They were originally supposed to start work in 2022. The background is the nationwide approval of previously banned virtual machine games, online poker and online casino games under certain conditions from mid-2021. At the same time, player protection should be improved and the range of advice expanded.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, it is not yet clear when exactly the new advice centers can start their work. "Overall, it can be expected that at least the state coordination center and the regional priority counseling centers in the three regional centers will start their work in the course of the first quarter of 2023." That would be Magdeburg, Halle and Dessau-Roßlau. According to the Gambling Act, 530,000 euros are available annually.

The head of the state office for addiction issues in Saxony-Anhalt, Helga Meeßen-Hühne, has been calling for rapid development for a long time. A nationwide advisory network is needed. The necessary money must also be made available for this, said Meeßen-Hühne.

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