Subtlety: cantons launch national campaign against gambling addiction

With the question "Why do you play for money?" all cantons and the Principality of Liechtenstein are raising awareness of the risks of gambling on the Internet from Thursday. The national prevention campaign was penned by Feinheit and is urgently needed, because: problematic online gambling behavior has increased sharply.

(Image: zVg.)

Four years after the first study "eGames I" and the entry into force of the Federal Law on Money Games (BGS), Addiction Switzerland and the Groupement romand d'études des addiction (GREA) published the follow-up study on the online gambling behavior of the Swiss population at a media conference in Bern on Thursday.

The results showed that the frequency of participation in online games has increased: in 2018, a quarter of the 1395 respondents played weekly, rising to 30 percent in 2021. Most importantly, the proportion of problem gamblers has doubled, from 2.3 percent in 2018 to 5.2 percent in 2021.

Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most affected: 18.8 percent of them exhibit moderately risky or problematic gaming behavior. Young people also spend more money on online games: an average of 162 Swiss francs per month compared with 105 Swiss francs in the sample as a whole.

More offers and pandemic

A large majority of survey participants pointed out that the sharp increase in Swiss online gaming offerings combined with the Covid 19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions had a major impact on the development of their behavior. After all, the casinos had to temporarily close their doors from March 2020, and only the online offerings were accessible.

The multiplication of online gaming, intensive marketing, unlimited access to games and bonuses were important factors in the intensification of gaming practices, players confirmed. The study also shows that one third of the respondents are not aware of the help and support available to those suffering from addiction.

In view of the increasing problems that particularly affect young people, all cantons are joining forces for the first time in a national prevention campaign. This is to run for four weeks via social networks. The Bernese agency Feinheit is responsible for the conception and implementation of the campaign.

The heart of the campaign is the website Gambling-check.chwhich is available in German, French and Italian. Animated videos show different motivations for gambling and are intended to make online gamblers think. In a second step, they are made aware of the risks and the help available throughout Switzerland.

Campaign relies on Human Centered Design

There are good reasons why the campaign initially stimulates self-reflection at a low level and does not immediately rely on conventional prevention messages. In order to understand what goes on in the minds of gamers and how they can be sensitized, Feinheit worked with the Human Centered Design approach.

Before the campaign was designed, research was conducted with those affected. This showed that people who suffer from gambling addiction do not want to acknowledge their problematic behavior. On the other hand, they are happy to describe their motivation for gambling. That's why the first national campaign on the subject starts here. (SDA/pd/swi)

Responsible for Fineness: Simon Hugi (project management & consulting), Stephanie Auderset (concept & content), Sophie Fauser (HCD research), Christian Perez (design), Wesllen Gschwind (animation), Kristina Roder (web project coordination), York Schickl (programming), Martin Schweizer (online marketing). Prevention programs of the cantons: Dörte Petit, Hannah Wettstein, Martin Müller, Matthias Weber (Playing without Addiction - Northwest/Central Swiss Cantons, Eastern Swiss Cantons and Principality of Liechtenstein), Domenic Schnoz & Britta Thelitz (Center for Gambling Addiction - Canton of Zurich), Boris Simic (VJPS - Canton of Schaffhausen), Camille Robert & Leonard Dinkel (PILDJ - Western Swiss Cantons), Sara Palazzo (GATP - Canton of Ticino).

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