Check your game with the self-assessment test of Responsible Gaming Foundation

The gambling can be fun form of entertainment for many people, but in some cases, it could lead to problems. If you find yourself spending more money or time on gambling than you intended, it may be worth considering using a self-assessment test to evaluate your gambling habits.

Responsible Gaming Foundation and a team of experts have developed a special questionnaire that will help you examine whether you have unreasonable gaming behaviour. Based on your answers to these questions, the tool can determine your level of risk for developing a gambling problem and provide recommendations for reducing your risk.

Gambling problems can manifest in a variety of ways, including difficulty controlling your gambling behaviour, continuing to gamble despite negative consequences, and feeling a strong urge to gamble. By taking a self-assessment test, you can identify whether you are exhibiting any of these signs and take steps to address them.

*It is important to note that self-assessment tests are not diagnostic tools, and they cannot definitively diagnose a gambling problem. However, they can provide valuable insights into your gambling habits and help you identify areas where you may need to make changes.

NRA: Gambling addicts should not be allowed in gaming halls, even if they are employees of the site

The organisers of gambling games should not allow employees who are on the register for vulnerable people in their casinos and gambling halls, commented from the National Revenue Agency. In case of non-compliance with the law, The Gambling Act predicts a penalty between BGN 5,000 and BGN 20,000.

The announcement comes after dozens of inquiries to the NRA about the possibility of a person signed into the register under Article 10, para. 3 of the Gambling Act entering employment relations with organizers of gambling games. The Agency specifies that when determining the requirements for occupying positions in gambling halls and casinos, the employer should comply with the norm of art. 45, para. 2 of the Gambling Act.

According to the Gambling Act, people who want to be signed into the Register can choose a specific period for which their access to gambling services will be restricted, but it cannot be shorter than two years. The Act allows untimely deletion from the Register, as for the purpose the person needs to fill out and submit a request to the Executive Director of the NRA.

Good practices and guidelines for responsible gaming were presented by the Responsible Gaming Foundation at a workshop

The Responsible Gaming Foundation held a workshop aimed at promoting responsible gaming practices and policies. The event is part of a series of training and workshops that the Foundation organizes for the industry, which aim to promote the industry’s socially responsible practices and policies.
The topic of the workshop was “Best Practices and Policies for Identifying and Working with Vulnerable Individuals. Practices and Policies for Responsible Gaming and Gambling Addiction Prevention” and brought together gaming operators, representatives from the regulatory body NRA and industry experts. The keynote speaker was Dan Spencer, Director of Responsible Gambling at UK NGO EPIC Risk Management, who presented useful practices from his work as a consultant to companies in the industry which operate in Europe.
“The Responsible Gambling Foundation is the link to ensure that responsible gaming policies and practices are properly communicated to the public and to institutions. It is only by uniting behind the cause of responsible gaming that the voice of socially responsible companies in the industry will be heard,” said Milena Tsankarska, Executive Director of the Responsible Gaming Foundation.
The workshops organized by the Responsible Gaming Foundation have become a valuable platform for stakeholders and government institutions to exchange ideas and successful practices.

Как се лекува хазартна зависимост

How to gamble responsibly – step by step

Gambling is an extremely popular form of entertainment for a lot of people around the world. Everyone can enjoy it, as long as he follows some reasonable boundaries. This article suggests very practical suggestions from Responsible Gaming Foundation, which users should follow in order to practice responsible gaming.

Choose only licensed operators

It is very important to use only licensed operators that guarantee you security and reliability. There are a lot of risks involving unlicensed operators, regarding your personal data. Before choosing an operator, check whether the brand has a license on the National Revenue Agency website.

You can check a list of the licensed operators here.

You can check a list of the unlicensed operators here.

Set a money limit

It is important to set a budget and stick to it because it is hard to pay attention to how much money you spend during the heat of the game. Don’t allow yourself to gamble with money that is intended for groceries and rent. It is also wrong to expect that by continuing the game you will return the money you have already gambled. Often, this leads to larger losses.

Limit the time you spend gambling

The same way you have to set a money limit, you have to set a time limit before every game. After you do so, make sure to follow it, whether you win or lose.

Remember – gambling is just for fun

When the fun ends, you need to stop. Gambling is a form of entertainment you need to approach the same way as going to an amusement park – you pay, and you receive an experience that does not guarantee profit. If, at any point during the game, you start to feel more stress than enjoyment – it is time to stop playing. Strong negative emotions may cause you to act irresponsible.

Don’t be too superstitious

It is common for everyone to have a favourite game, lucky table, or favoured number. But don’t forget that gambling is entirely generated by luck and possibility, which are never guaranteed. If you have a bad series, it is best to stop and not hope that you will return what you have gambled, even if you are sitting in the luckiest spot at the casino.

Add different activities for your leisure time

Make sure that your free time is not entirely occupied with gambling. Ensure that you will make time to meet a friend, attend a family gathering, watch some series or take a walk in the park. There are many ways to have fun, and gambling is just one of them.

Don’t borrow money and don’t use credit card for bets

Play only with money that you can afford to lose. Keep in mind that gambling is not a way to pay off debts and get rich easily, but a form of entertainment. If you start borrowing money or using a credit card for gambling, immediately share this with your family and friends and search for help.

You can contact the National Information Line of Association “Solidarnost” at 0 888 99 18 66 and seek help and advice on how to quit gambling and to find out how to treat gambling addiction.

Following these steps would help each user turn the game into entertainment and protect himself from the risks of gambling addiction.

Marina Popova Interview

Marina Popova is a psychologist at the “Solidarnost” Association for Rehabilitation of Addicted People – a nongovernmental organization, established in 2006. She has years of experience in the field of rehabilitation and resocialization of addicts. During this conversation she explains the benefits of the National Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling Helpline, which provides several different options for prevention and treatment.

– The Responsible Gaming Foundation funds the National Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling Helpline, and this is already leading to real results. How do you measure the public significance of the helpline?

Yes, to our delight, in 2022, the Responsible Gaming Foundation has decided to support the National Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling Helpline. Thanks to this cooperation, we managed to preserve it and till this day it continues to function. Before that, it was in real danger of being closed down. Its activity does not generate income and does not make any profit, which is why we need the financial support of partners. The helpline is the only anonymous and free service in Bulgaria that provides initial support and guidance to solve the problem of gaming addicts and their relatives. Contacting us is very easy – just call us, join our chat, or send us an email. There are no preconditions or restrictions on who can contact us.

Although our activities are mainly aimed at individuals within the territory of the country, we often need to consult people who are abroad. Their situation is often even more critical because not everyone speaks the local language fluently, and they have no way to seek help in the place they are. Thousands of people have contacted us over the years and hundreds of thousands have visited our site. The helpline is like first aid for people with a gambling problem who need support, initial counselling, information and referral for treatment. Therein, the helpline operation is truly of public importance, and we believe that we must preserve it at all costs.

Tell us a little bit more about how the hotline works?

We would like to clarify that, unfortunately, it is not a hotline. We are not able to work 24 hours a day, every day. For the moment, we manage to maintain working hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every working day. In these days and hours, people can contact consultants directly by phone or chat, and the rest of the time they can send emails with their questions.

The helpline was created in 2008 by the “Solidarnost” Association for Rehabilitation of Addicted Peolpe following the example of the long-existing similar helplines in most European countries, which number more than 50. The colleagues from one of the Dutch information lines trained us and gave us the model they work on. Our main activity is to provide anonymously and free of charge to the whole society extensive and reliable information and initial consultation about the effects and risks of drug and alcohol use, problem gaming, addictions and methods of their treatment, places of help in the country, as well as guidelines for parents, relatives and teachers.

– Based on your practice, what are the most common first signs of gaming addiction in our country and what is your advice to people who recognize its in themselves?

The first signs are often noticed by the family and relatives of the person who has a problem with gambling or addiction. Often, the addict is the last one who realizes that there is a problem. Relatives are also those who usually seek help first. When they call the line, usually things have already gotten out of control and there are some debts accumulated. The addict usually lies to conceal the scale of the problem, the frequency of his game and other negative consequences. Very often there are serious problems in the family as a result of the losses and lies. The workplace of the addict and the circle of friends are also suffering because of this type of behavior. We must not forget that addiction can also seriously affect people’s mental health. For example, many people tell us that they suffer from depression.

I would encourage anyone who is worried about himself or a loved one to seek help and advice on the helpline without delay and without fear of judgement. No one is immune to the development of a problem, but it is important to be consulted on time and not try to deal with it alone. Addiction is a serious disease that requires the intervention of specialists. The sooner the better.

– How do people with gaming addiction rank in the general picture of addictions in Bulgaria?

For a few years now, we have noticed that seeking help for gaming addiction has become an ever-growing trend. This is the reason why we began to deal more actively with this addiction – to provide more information to society and to the people in need, to try to attract the attention of politicians, institutions, and the media. But up to this point, the only ones who have responded are the representatives of the gambling industry.

There is also the problem of treatment possibilities, but that could be a topic for another conversation.

– Last year, together with the Responsible Gaming Foundation, you organized two trainings. What is your feedback and do you foresee other similar events this year?

Yes, at the end of September last year, the first training on the topic “First symptoms of gaming addiction in players at risk” took place. Techniques for interventions to reduce the risk of developing gaming addiction took place. Speakers were Svetoslav Kirilov, therapeutic director of “Solidarnost” and Marina Popova, psychologist of the helpline. The training was attended by over 50 people from the gambling industry, with the main goal was to improve their skills in recognizing the first signs of gaming addiction and discuss strategies for working with clients with problem gaming or people at risk of gaming addiction. In November, a master class followed, the purpose of which was to consolidate and upgrade the knowledge of the participants. The hosts of the event were Svetoslav Kirilov and Dilyana Bondokova, a psychologist in the “Solidarnost” program. The purpose of the joint work of the Association and the Foundation is to keep gambling within the realm of fun and enjoyment, rather than becoming a problem, with industry’s workers being the main ambassadors and collaborators of the mission. The participants were very active and interested and we hope to maintain the fruitful tone of cooperation.

In 2023, new trainings and joint events of the “Solidarnost” Association for Rehabilitation of Addicted Peolpe and Responsible Gaming Foundation are coming.