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Denmark Takes Pioneering Steps with Nationwide Campaign to Educate Youth on Gambling Risks

Denmark's Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, has embarked on an innovative and comprehensive nationwide campaign designed to educate individuals under the age of 18 about the potential dangers and risks associated with gambling. This groundbreaking initiative represents the first of its kind in Denmark and is a proactive response to recent survey findings that have unveiled concerning trends among the country's youth.

Denmark Takes Pioneering Steps with Nationwide Campaign to Educate Youth on Gambling Risks

The survey, which served as the catalyst for the campaign, disclosed that approximately 15% of individuals aged 15 to 17 have engaged in online gambling within the past year. Perhaps even more alarming, it highlighted that 24,500 minors aged 12 to 17 are currently experiencing issues related to gambling. Further insights from Spillemyndigheden's helpline, StopSpillet, underscored the fact that a majority of individuals seeking assistance with gambling problems initiated their gambling activities before the age of 25.

Anders Dorph, Director of Spillemyndigheden, stressed the significance of directly targeting individuals under the age of 18. He remarked, "We know that the younger you are when you get your start, the more chance you have of developing a gambling problem later in life. That is why, for the first time, we are directly targeting young people under 18, and we are doing it in a new, creative way."

The campaign will utilize various mediums, including videos and posts on popular platforms like YouTube and Instagram. To effectively convey the potential pitfalls of gambling, the campaign introduces a fictional character known as 'the one-armed thief.' This character serves as an illustrative tool to portray how young people may be enticed into gambling activities, ultimately resulting in financial losses. Dorph emphasized that while the campaign addresses a serious issue, the incorporation of humor aims to resonate with young audiences.

"The seriousness of gambling addiction must not be diminished. But that does not mean that we have to point the finger at young people who may be tempted to gamble. We have chosen a new approach in this campaign, in which we try to open the eyes of young people through humor and irony that is in keeping with social media content trends."

The character 'the one-armed thief' is brought to life by David Minerba, and the content is directed by comedian Martin Høgsted. To further amplify the campaign's reach, Spillemyndigheden has strategically collaborated with social media influencers who can play a vital role in raising awareness.

In conjunction with the campaign, Spillemyndigheden recently introduced a knowledge platform called StyrPåSpillet. This free resource serves as a valuable tool for parents, providing them with relevant information and statistics on problem gambling. Importantly, it also offers guidance on how to approach and discuss the topic of gambling with their children. This multifaceted approach aligns with Denmark's broader commitment to addressing and mitigating the harms associated with problem gambling, particularly among the younger population.

To bolster these initiatives, Denmark's Folketing has allocated DKK 30 million (€4.02 million) for the campaign spanning from 2023 to 2025. This comprehensive strategy, combining educational campaigns with accessible resources for parents, underscores Denmark's forward-thinking approach and dedication to tackling the complex challenges posed by gambling-related issues among its youth.


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