Responsible Gaming Foundation Continues to Support the Addiction Helpline

Responsible Gaming Foundation continues to support the unique helpline for prevention and assistance of addicts, which is free of charge for them. The National Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling Helpline is maintained by psychologists and experts from the Association for Rehabilitation of Addictions “Solidarnost”, with which the Foundation is partnering.

“I am happy to announce that in 2024 we will continue to support the national helpline. We have seen good results since we started funding it and many people have received help from specialists”, said Milena Tsankarska, Executive Director of the Responsible Gaming Foundation.

The national helpline provides opportunities for prevention and support, with experts assessing each specific situation individually and paying special attention to the family environment and relatives, who are also provided with the necessary assistance in resolving various issues.

The consultation is completely free, and calls are anonymous, unless the caller himself wants to introduce himself. You should contact the specialists from “Solidarnost” by phone +359 888 99 18 66.

Responsible Gaming Foundation successful participation in BEGE 2023 has ended

During this year’s edition of the Balkan Gaming Expo BEGE 2023, the Responsible Gaming Foundation presented its initiative “In Focus: Responsible Gaming”, strengthened partnerships and organized an event where licensed operators and organizers of gambling presented their successful campaigns and policies for prevention of unreasonable gaming behavior in the form of Case Studies.

The topic of responsible gaming was largely discussed during the Eastern European Gaming Summit EEGS, during which experts such as Peter Remers, Dan Iliovici, Zoran Puhach and Rossi McKee, co-founder of the Responsible Gaming Foundation, commented on the latest innovations, methods and ways to deal with irresponsible gaming behavior.

During the last two BEGE exhibitions, the Responsible Gaming Foundation and the Association of Gaming Industry in Bulgaria (AGIB) participated with a common stand. The two organizations are long-term partners and over the years have jointly implemented a number of initiatives, including trainings and seminars promoting responsible gaming behavior. Their latest initiative is “On Focus: Responsible Gaming” and started in October 2023. Its purpose is to promote the policies of reasonable behavior when using the products of the gaming industry; to work towards increasing the culture of consumers in terms of responsible behavior in play and the level of understanding of responsible gaming. The initiative will unfold in 2024, when more seminars, webinars and conferences on responsible gaming will take place.

AGIB and the Responsible Gaming Foundation with a common stand at BEGE 2023

The Association of the Gaming Industry in Bulgaria (AGIB) and the Responsible Gaming Foundation (RGF) will participate together in this year’s edition of the Balkan Entertainment and Gaming Expo – BEGE 2023. The common stand of both organizations will be located in hall 3 and can be found under number 3.18.
The Association and the Foundation are long-standing partners and have jointly implemented a number of initiatives, including joint trainings and seminars promoting responsible gaming behavior. The last joint initiative of the Association of the Gaming Industry in Bulgaria and the Foundation – “Responsible Gaming: on focus”, started in October 2023. The aim of the initiative is to promote the policies of reasonable behavior when using the products of the gaming industry; to work towards increasing the culture of users regarding responsible gaming behavior and the level of understanding of responsible gaming.
BEGE 2023 will be held on November 22 and 23 at the Inter Expo Center in Sofia. The exhibition annually gathers various representatives from both the gaming and entertainment industry, as well as non-governmental organizations, operators, regulators, producers and providers of gaming content. The event is accompanied by the EEGS conference, which includes a Master Class and an Affiliate Conference.
See what the principles of responsible gaming are.

Responsible Gaming Foundation took participation in European Safer Gambling Week of The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)

Responsible Gaming Foundation took part in the European Safer Gambling Week organized by The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). This participation underscores Responsible Gaming Foundation’s commitment to promoting responsible gambling practices and ensuring a safe and enjoyable gaming environment for players in Bulgaria and across Europe.

The objective of the event is to raise awareness about responsible gaming. Experts from all over the world will gather to share their experience and to discuss the latest developments in safer gaming regulations and research. Part of the topics to be addressed were Markers of Harm: Trustworthy Tools to Minimise Gambling Related Harm; Safer Gambling Interactions: How to Measure Success? and more.

Responsible Gaming Foundation’s involvement in the European Safer Gambling Week aligns with its ongoing efforts to promote responsible gambling within the gaming industry. By participating in this initiative, Responsible Gaming Foundation aims to raise awareness about the importance of responsible gaming practices, including measures to prevent problem gambling and support individuals who may be at risk.

More information: Home Page – EGBA

Gaming Addiction: Recognizing, Coping, and Treating

Dr. Mariana Todorova

In the age of digital connectivity, the allure of video games has captured the imaginations of people across age groups, and adolescents, in particular, find themselves immersed in this ever-evolving virtual realm. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that gaming addiction is a real and burgeoning concern. As many teenagers grapple with the challenge of limiting the time spent on video games, the line between recreational engagement and addiction becomes increasingly blurred. In some instances, gaming can assume the central role in an individual’s life, leading to adverse consequences that reverberate through physical and mental health and social relationships. For those seeking a way out, it’s paramount to consider game addiction treatment.

Process Addiction: A Comprehensive Understanding

Gaming addiction, classified within the spectrum of process addictions, is a subset of behavioral addiction. Process addictions are characterized by an irresistible impulse to engage in specific behaviors despite the manifest negative repercussions. Other manifestations of process addiction encompass gambling, shopping, and food-related compulsions. The pervasive nature of these addictions underscores the broader concept of process addictions, wherein behavioral patterns are the focal point of concern.

Recognizing the pernicious grip of gaming addiction involves discerning a series of warning signs:

Neglect of Social and Personal Obligations: The addiction takes precedence over friendships, hobbies, and other interests.

Decline in Personal Hygiene: Individuals may disregard personal grooming and basic self-care.

Inability to Adhere to Time Limits: Efforts to curtail gaming time prove futile, with individuals consistently exceeding self-imposed restrictions.

Mood Perturbations: The inability to access games can trigger anxiety, anger, and irritability.

Sleep and Appetite Disruptions: Changes in sleep patterns and eating habits that correlate with gaming habits may become evident.

Emotional Outbursts: Prohibiting or limiting gaming may elicit emotional outbursts.

Academic and Professional Deterioration: A decline in academic or professional performance may manifest as gaming takes precedence over responsibilities.

Withdrawal from gaming addiction mirrors the experiences of individuals grappling with other forms of addiction, often giving rise to symptoms such as anger, depression, and loneliness. It is incumbent to recognize that, in contemplating how to quit a gaming addiction, devising a structured plan is indispensable to navigate the intricate process of addiction recovery.

Navigating the Path to Recovery

For those who have acknowledged their gaming addiction or seek to assist a teen in addressing this issue, there are five pivotal steps to facilitate a successful journey toward rehabilitation:

Establish Stringent Time Limits: Experts in child health emphasize the importance of limiting screen time, recommending that school-aged children spend no more than two hours daily in front of screens. For those aiming to reduce gaming time, initiating a 30-minute daily limit, supported by alarms or reminders from friends, can be a salient starting point.

Reclaim the Bedroom: Removing gaming devices from the bedroom is essential to curtail impulsive gaming. This practice not only minimizes easy access but also combats the adverse effects of late-night gaming on sleep quality.

Leverage Social Networks: Openly discussing concerns about gaming addiction with friends and family is a vital step. Alternatively, initiating conversations about engaging in more social activities can be an indirect yet effective approach to mitigate excessive gaming.

Adopt Alternate Stress-Relief Techniques: Gaming often serves as a stress-reliever for many. Consequently, developing alternative coping mechanisms is pivotal in managing and reducing gaming time. Exploring meditation, yoga, physical exercise, and creative expressions such as painting, writing, or music can provide a means of alleviating stress without resorting to excessive gaming.

Consider Gaming Addiction Treatment: In cases where self-regulation proves challenging, and gaming addiction remains uncontested, seeking professional intervention becomes paramount. Institutions like Foothills at Red Oak Recovery offer tailored treatment services designed to address gaming addiction. Their array of therapies encompasses individual and family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, adventure therapy, equine-assisted therapy, and wilderness therapy.

The prompt pursuit of treatment is integral to averting gaming addiction from assuming a debilitating grip on one’s life. Detecting early signs of gaming addiction in adolescents is a parental responsibility, necessitating immediate action and intervention. By acknowledging the potency of gaming addiction, engaging in open conversations, and availing oneself of professional treatment options, individuals and their families can take affirmative steps towards recovery and restoration of a balanced and fulfilling life.