Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Gambling affects 700 000 people in Finland: Minister

09 Nov 2017, 00:40 ( 09 Nov, 2017) | updated: 09 Nov 2017, 10:29 ( 09 Nov, 2017)

DF Report
Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. Photo Finnish government by Viivi Myllylä.

A working group proposed that the focus of gambling policies should be moved more towards prevention of gambling problems.

The group submitted a set of proposals to Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services on Wednesday, which suggested the need for a national programme to reinforce gambling policies, said an official press release.

“Gambling problems affect more than 700,000 people in Finland when you include the family members of gamblers,” said Annika Saarikko on the occasion, adding it is also important that legislation is improved to enable intervention in the harmful side-effects of gambling before they become problems.

The working group’s main message to decision-makers is that prevention of gambling problems must be intensified in the second phase of the reform of the new Lotteries Act that took force in 2017.

The working group believes practical proposals should now be made to promote the primary goal of the gambling system, which is to prevent problems caused by gambling.

The preventive approach would also be strengthened in the ownership policy of Veikkaus. In the social welfare and health care reform, both early recognition of problems and provision of treatment services for players with problems should be guaranteed in all provinces.


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