In Romania, 15% of the total population aged over 18 has gambled at least once in the last year, and of these, 0.6% has developed addiction problems. This percentage ranks Romania at the lower limit of the European average, which ranges between 0.5 and 2%. From the desire to help these people, but also to educate gamblers to correctly acknowledge their gambling activity, Rombet takes part, together with other local representative gambling associations, in the establishment of the Responsible Gambling Association.
“Finally, the Responsible Gambling program acquires legal personality under the umbrella of the Association. Efforts that have hitherto been conducted separately will focus on a single voice, a single voice that will testify to the importance that the associations in Romania – and their members – give to the reduction of the negative effects of the problematic game in our country “ said Rombet representatives.
The association, which will develop in parallel with the Responsible Gambling Foundation, which will operate under the authority of the National Gambling Office, will benefit from the experience of similar projects of the most important organizations in the country.
The real support that the new association will grant the players with problems, but also to their families and friends, will be materialized into a free helpline that can be accessed 24 hours a day. At the other end of the line, players who take the first steps towards a normal life, finding again the pleasure of the game without the harmful effects of addiction, will be helped by a team of experienced specialists in the field, who will support them be it on the phone, or even in psychologists’ consulting rooms, partners of the Responsible Gambling Association.
“In addition, in the near future, we aim to make caravans in the most important cities in the country, alongside the Responsible Gambling Team. We want to talk to troubled players where they are, as close as possible to their homes, but also close to the environment that negatively affects their lives.
We want them and their families to know that we are there for them and that we come to them with specialized, highly qualified and experienced help. “Because the responsible game has not only the treatment component but also the prevention component; the purpose of these caravans is doubled by our intention to meet young people in high schools with explanations on gambling so that when becoming of age, they will be able to report correctly and consciously to this activity, commented Mr. Bogdan Coman, Rombet Executive Director.
The activity of the new association is not just about communicating with players who are going through difficult moments. Another priority axis will be the one targeting the game organizers and the staff at the gaming venues. “We aim to develop a good practice guide, which involves a number of display elements in the venues, and a set of rules which operating personnel will have to respect so as to prevent pathological gambling before its effects start showing. The more measures we can take are more explicit and more accurately drawn, the easier it is to put into practice and, of course, to evaluate it”, stated Mr. Anchidim Zagrean, vice-president of Rombet.
The training of location staff so that they can track on time the signals of an unhealthy gambling behavior and prevent the situation from becoming critical is one of the main measures promoted by big names in the global gambling industry such as Gamcare, the National Center for Responsible Gaming and other international bodies whose ten year experience in the field of Responsible Gambling, the new Association aims to bring it to Romania by concluding new strategic partnerships.
“The program will become the reference point in our country for Responsible Gambling actions. It will be a public-private joint venture, the Foundation and the Association, which will make the difference in this controversial field which is the target of some of the strongest objections to our field of work. By this venture, however, we prove that we are united, we are strong and we are determined to stick with those players who need our support, which is not only a legal obligation but also a moral one for each organizer. The Responsible Gambling Association will be the main pillar of a solid, healthy, responsible gambling industry, “concluded Mr. Dan Alexandru Ghiță, President of Rombet.