More people seek help for gambling addiction

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More people have been seeking treatment for gambling addiction since the introduction of online gambling, figures from healthcare information foundation IVZ have shown.

Compared to 2022, the number of people seeking help rose by over 24% a year later, a marked deviation from the downward trend of previous years, the organisation said.

The Netherlands legalised online gambling in October 2021 in a move that addiction experts now say has had a “devastating effect”. In total, 27 companies offering 37 different labels now have a licence to operate.

Since then, more than 450,000 new gamblers including vulnerable young adults started betting, according to the NRC.

It was a question of waiting for the numbers to grow, spokeswoman for the network of addiction centre Verslavingszorg Nederland Floor van Bakkum told

“We expected it would be a couple of years from 2021 before people with a gambling addiction would turn to organisations for help. It takes time to become addicted which meant the effects of online gambling did not show up in the figures for a long time,” she said.

In 2023, almost 2.500 people were treated for a gambling addiction. Some 88% are male and 17% are younger than 25.

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