Blå Kors to run Norwegian problem gambling hotline

By Richard Mulligan

Addiction support group Blå Kors is to take over the running of Norway’s national gambling helpline from next year.

The organisation has been appointed to operate the call centre by the Norwegian Lottery Authority from early 2024. Blå Kors replaces Sykehuset Innlandet, which announced earlier this year that it no longer wishes to operate the service.

Blå Kors runs treatment services which are specialised in the treatment of money and computer game addiction in three cities. Now the organisation will establish Blue Cross Gambling Addiction, covering both the helpline and remote-based treatment for gambling addicts.

The helpline is likely to continue to be run from the town of Hamar with existing staff staying on.

“Blue Cross has extensive experience in treating various addiction problems, including gambling addiction and we want to expand our work in this area,” said Trine Stensen, secretary-general of Blå Kors.

The Norwegian Lottery Authority says that 23,000 Norwegians have a gambling problem. Some 825 calls were made to the helpline in 2022, which was up on the previous year.

“The helpline is an important low threshold offer for players and their relatives,” said Lars Petter Degnepoll of the Norwegian Lottery Authority.

“The helpline can be the start of getting out of the problem. Blue Cross has worked with gambling problems for a long time and is well equipped to take over the helpline.”

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