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UGC has resumed the operation of its hotline to provide psychological support to gamblers

Definitely, the war made adjustments to the activities of the Ukrainian Gambling Council. In the first months of the war, we had to adapt quickly to new realities and optimize our work. For instance, we suspended the operation of our hotline for providing psychological support to gamblers and their families. However, despite all the challenges, the legal gambling market is gradually recovering, making the revival of initiatives related to gambling social responsibility urgent. That is why today I am announcing the resumption of the full-fledged work of our psychological support hotline.

Restoring the gambling market in Ukraine during the war is a complex and multidisciplinary process. It means not only reopening legal gambling halls, bringing staff back to work, and resuming license fees but also relaunching social responsibility initiatives.

Given numerous manipulations surrounding gambling addiction (ludopathy), we decided to study this issue in detail. As a result, we saw that gambling addiction is not a systemic issue in Ukraine. Our research presented in November 2021 and April 2022 clearly demonstrated this. Only about 8% of Ukrainians surveyed said they wanted to gamble at least once in the future. At the same time, more than 92% of Ukrainians said they did not gamble in the last year.

As we can see, the actual number of potential gamblers in Ukraine is insignificant. It means that the issue of gambling addiction is greatly exaggerated, and populist statements about “half of the country of gambling addicts” are absolutely unfounded. Nevertheless, according to Ukrainian legislation, even the existing number of gamblers have the right to enjoy privileges that socially responsible gambling should guarantee.

Providing qualified psychological support to gamblers facing gambling addiction and their families is an integral part of the social responsibility system of the civilized gambling business. Today, gamblers can get such help by calling the UGC psychological support hotline, which we have recently relaunched with our members’ support. By using the specified hotline numbers, people experiencing certain problems with gambling addiction and their family members will be able to receive free consultations from professional psychologists.

I use this opportunity to once again urge all gamblers to play only in legal gambling establishments and on licensed online platforms and to approach the game very responsibly. Gambling is a type of leisure, NOT a way of making money.

Only legal gambling operators have implemented mechanisms and practices required to prevent the spread of gambling addiction. If you or your family members are already in need of specialist advice due to gambling addiction, do not hesitate to contact our psychological support hotline for gamblers.

Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the Ukrainian News


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