Bavaria will launch PlayChange, an online counselling platform for gambling-related harm.
Germany.- The Bavarian State Office for Gambling Addiction will today (Wednesday July 15) launch PlayChange, an online platform designed to help people suffering from gambling harm.
The platform, developed with Bavaria’s Ministry of Health and Social Care, will be available as a website or a downloadable app. It allows people to register anonymously and to contact a counsellor by email, message or chat service, and to make telephone appointments.
The service aims to make it easier to seek help, while anonymity is designed to counter any shame felt in making contact, as Bavaria says it aims to play a “pioneering role” in preventing digital addiction.
Health Minister, Melanie Huml, said. “Those affected can get help quickly, easily, and above all, anonymously on PlayChange.
“This is an excellent addition to our existing counselling services and a big step forward in addiction counselling, which we offer to citizens in the Free State of Bavaria.”
The platform will be operated by the State Office for Gambling Addiction (Landesstelle Glücksspielsucht/LSG), which already offers more traditional treatment options in person at 70 locations in Bavaria, including 22 specialist centres.
Bavaria estimates there are 70,000 people in the state who display signs of problem gambling and 30,000 with signs of gambling addiction, based on surveys carried out between 2011 and 2017.
German states have recently had strong differences in opinion on their approaches to online gambling ahead of the country opening a regulated market next year.