The Cyprus National Addictions Authority (CNAA) has released data showing that 3.6% of Cypriots involved in betting activities engage with them ‘in a problematic way’, Phileleftheros reports.
12% of participants in CNAA’s latest research said that they engaged in betting in the last year, mostly lotteries like Lotto or Joker.
Two in ten people place bets in sports involving animals, 11.5% use slot machines and 12.3% bet during card and dice games.
2% of Cyprus’ population engages in low-risk betting, 1.2% in medium risk, and 1% has a serious issue with betting.
Using the lie/bet questionnaire method, CNAA concluded that 3.6% of Cypriots have a ‘problematic’ relationship with betting.
The authority said in an announcement that “the same risk factors that lead to a problematic engagement with gambling are also associated with other dependency behaviours, psychological disorders and antisocial behaviour.
“We can identify two types of emotional factors that lead to problematic betting behaviour; the impulsive / antisocial and the emotional / vulnerability ones.
“The success of preventive interventions depends on how effective they are in influencing those factors. Education and policy interventions that target all ages are key to effective prevention,” the Authority said.
CNAA has launched an island-wide campaign in high schools to help teenagers escape their betting addiction, as Cypriot pupils ranked first in the EU in betting.
The programme involves a series of workshops teaching participants to have realistic life expectations, encouraging family guidance and support, controlling impulses, boosting confidence, teach problem-solving and the constructive use of leisure time — all connected to behaviours that indicate pathological gambling and a problematic preoccupation with betting.
CNAA calls on the public to use the informational line on betting addiction 1402, the interventional line 14444 or 1454, or the centre for addiction advice to teenagers and family on 1456.