NOGA concerned with rise in Dutch people seeking gambling addiction help

Image: Shutterstock

Nederlandse Online Gambling Associatie, the Dutch online gambling association, has expressed its concern about the number of people seeking support for gambling addiction. 

NOGA’s statement comes in response to the new Addiction Care Key Figures 2018 – 2023 report from Landelijk Alcohol en Drugs Informatie Systeem, the Netherlands’ National Alcohol and Drugs Information System.

2023 figures from LADIS show that the number of people in addiction care with gambling as their primary problem has risen to 2,456, in comparison to 2022’s figure of 1,920 people. Gambling addiction accounts for a four per cent share of the total problems in addiction care.

According to NOGA, the main reason behind the increase has been due to the “expansion in the number of supplying institutions, although institutions that have been supplying information for some time have also reported a slight increase”.

Commenting on the figures, Eric Konings, Interim Director of NOGA, stated: “The figures published today show that after years of decline, there is now an increase in the number of gambling addicts in addiction care. 

“Although the growth is mainly caused by the fact that more institutions have started providing figures, this is cause for concern. After all, gambling should be a safe and responsible form of entertainment for all Dutch people, and 2,456 people who had to ask for help are 2,456 too many. 

“As we also stated last year, these figures must be interpreted with caution, because it often takes quite some time before people turn to addiction care for problematic gaming behaviour. Just as the downward trend of recent years was no reason to cheer, these figures are also no reason to panic.”

Konings continued: “It is also not known for the majority of people where they developed gambling problems, and the figures do not distinguish between whether the gambling problem arose from legal and illegal online offerings. It would help enormously for a fact-based debate about gambling addiction problems if this became clear.

“In the meantime, NOGA continues to work for a responsible gambling offering in the Netherlands, such as in our collaboration with AGOG. After all, our members stand for a safe online gambling market.”