The Norwegian Lottery Authority’s national gambling helpline has changed ownership, with Blå Kors agreeing to take over following Sykehuset Innlandet’s decision to stand down as its operator.
According to a recent survey carried out by the NLA around 23,000 Norwegians suffer from gambling problems, and the helpline offers an invaluable service for players dealing with issues of gambling harm and their relatives.
In 2022, 825 calls were made to the helpline, which the NLA suggests was an increase on 2021’s statistics as ‘more and more people are contacting the helpline’.
Set to take over the helpline as a result of its previous operator, Sykehuset Innlandet, announcing that it no longer wishes to run the service, Blå Kors runs outpatient treatments in Oslo, Skien and Haugaland which are specialised in treating both gambling and video game addiction.
“The helpline is an important low threshold offer for players and their relatives,” said Lars Petter Degnepoll of the Norwegian Lottery Authority.
“The helpline can be the start of getting out of the problem. Blå Kors has worked with gambling problems for a long time and is well equipped to take over the helpline.”
In addition to running the phone line, Blå Kors has launched the ‘Blå Kors Gambling Addiction’ initiative that will see it take over other remote-based treatments for gambling addicts.
“Blå Kors has extensive experience in treating various addiction problems, including gambling addiction and we want to expand our work in this area,” added Trine Stensen, Secretary-General of Blå Kors.