Founded in 2014 in Malta, The Responsible Gaming Foundation, has launched a National Helpline.
The project aims to serve all the individuals who need help regarding problems related to gambling – not only the addicts themselves, but also their families or significant others. Anyone in need can call a freephone 1777 or go on Responsible Gaming Foundation’s website www.rgf.org.mt using an easily accessible chat. All the information will be considered as confidential and the callers will have an option to stay anonymous.
Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Officer-Operations of Malta Gaming Authority, said “Everyone knows the importance of the gaming industry in Malta, and this is why we should continue to help it grow and be stronger, however this cannot be done without help for those who fall into the gambling addiction.”
“One of the main reasons for the inception of the Foundation was the introduction of this call centre so as to cater for gambling problems”, added Mr Farrugia.
Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Growth, Jose Herrera, said: “Gaming is a hobby, but when it starts taking over someone’s life it can have very dire consequences.” Mr. Herrera also touched on an importance of carrying out education campaigns for schoolchildren to instil them into a responsible attitude towards gaming.
Ms. Lorraine Mifsud, Call Centre Manager, elaborated on the goals of the newly created service. She defined gambling addiction as a disease “which brings along other life difficulties such as mental health problems, psychological, physical and also social problems.”
Now, the 1777 Helpline is available from 8am till 8pm. The hours are planned to be extended for 24/7 in the near future.
Featured photo: TVM