POLAND

Thousands of Poles addicted to gambling

About 27,000 Poles may be addicted to gambling – according to estimates made on the basis of the CBOS survey. For a nation of 38 million, this does not seem much, but 27,000 people are more or less the entire population of, e.g. Zakopane or Kętrzyn.

Not every player is a compulsive gambler. On the contrary, one third (32.8%) of Poles over 15 years old play without the risk of addiction. In the widespread opinion, the worst addictions are those of substances – the first three are invariably addicted to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. In the case of drugs, almost 82 percent Poles consider addiction to them as life-threatening. For alcohol it is over 67%, and for cigarettes – 43.5%. However, gambling addiction is right behind them. According to the CBOS survey, every fourth Pole considers life-threatening addiction.

Pathological gambling

According to the same CBOS data, in 2019 money players constituted 37.1 percent population. We most often play the games of Totalizator Sportowy (27.4 percent), scratch cards (16.3 percent) are much less popular. 6.3 percent of Poles participate in lotteries and SMS competitions, and 3.8 percent play on the machines with the so-called low winnings. Of course, not every player is a compulsive gambler. On the contrary, one third (32.8%) of Poles playing above 15 years of age play without the risk of addiction, in the case of 2.7%. addiction risk is low, and for 0.9% moderate. Also 0.9 percent playing for money in a highly risky way.

Calculating the numbers, it is estimated that about 27,000 people play gambling in our country. And here it gets serious, because at this point we are already talking about the disease.

Pathological gambling is a specialized term for something that is commonly referred to as addiction to gambling. Pathological gambling, like any disease, has diagnostic criteria described. These include repetition of gambling activities that cannot be controlled and which usually harm both the player and his family, relatives, affect social relationships, work etc.
– explains Maja Ruszpel, specialist in addiction therapy from the Inspiratornia Foundation. This disorder is included in the classification of diseases and disorders of the World Health Organization.

And 27 thousand people addicted, is as many as Zakopane, Kętrzyn or Gorlice residents.
gamblingIt is important, however, that compared to the previous edition of the study, estimates of gamblers have decreased. In 2014, their number could be estimated at about 34,000. Where does this change come from? It could have been influenced by the gambling act, which had been in force for a year and a half, and imposed very strict regulations on the market. Bets can only be placed with bookmakers who have a license from the Ministry of Finance.

There can only be one online casino operated by the state-controlled Totalizator Sportowy. Totalizator also includes slot machines outside casinos. The purpose of these restrictions was to fight addiction. The government did not assume that the state would only earn on gambling. The state has the gamble to civilize and protect players against the effects of this activity like an illegal market.

Restrictions mean smaller profits for you and Totalizator Sportowy.

The Act specifies exactly where game rooms may arise, or rather where they cannot arise. In addition, it imposes restrictions on the number of gaming machines: it can be a maximum of one machine for each thousand started of poviat residents. These are provisions that are primarily aimed at protecting the player and preventing addiction to gambling. We operate in such parameters and we must take them into account when opening new showrooms
– says the president of Totalizator Sportowy Olgierd Cieślik.

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