Campaign targets online gambling addicts

Experts say about 192,000 people in Switzerland are at risk of gambling addiction. A small group has a compulsive gambling behaviour. © Keystone/Gaetan Bally

An awareness campaign has been launched to help addicted online gamblers in Switzerland cope with their compulsive behaviour.

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An independent foundation said it published a special digital programme, Gambling without Addiction, with the authorities in most cantons of German-speaking Switzerland.

It includes advice for gamblers, including setting spending limits or time-out periods.

Experts say half of the amount bet online with international providers comes from people with addiction problems.

A study published earlier this month found that nearly 3% of the Swiss population is addicted or at the risk of addiction, notably among online gamblers.

The most popular games were Swiss lotteries, followed by bingo or other private games, table games, vending machines and slot machines operated in Swiss casinos. A small group of respondents also said they were gambling with international online operators.

At the beginning of the year, a law came into force which restricts online gambling to a few authorised Swiss-based casinos.

However, nearly 20 operators are still accessible despite the ban, the Federal Casino Commission told the Swiss news agency, Keystone-SDA.

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