Norway to expand problem gambling support network


Lottstift, the Gambling Authority of Norway, has expanded its funding coverage to support volunteer groups treating gambling addiction.

The authority has reminded volunteer groups and related organizations of its 31st January deadline to secure financial support for the treatment of gambling harm.

The directive is part of the Norwegian government’s 2022-2025 action plan, which tasks Lottstift with expanding a network of stakeholders to improve early interventions for gambling risks and harms.

Organizations eligible for financial support under the program of grants, effective from January 1, 2023, include voluntary support groups for gambling addicts and their relatives, and groups addressing gambling and compulsive gaming addictions.

For 2024, up to NOK 4.1m (€400k) will be available for grants, contingent upon criteria established by Norway’s Ministry of Culture and Lottstift.

The program will review grants for operational support and for project-specific support related to improving the intervention of gambling harm.

Applicants are reminded that Lottstift will evaluate grants based on their regulatory compliance, the feasibility of their proposed projects, and the relevance of these projects to their target groups. The total grant amount may be adjusted depending on the overall quality and number of applications received.

In 2024, Lottstift will revamp the operations of Norway’s treatment support network for gambling addiction. Key changes include Blå Kors (Blue Cross) becoming the operating steward of Hjelpelinjen, Norway’s problem gambling helpline.

The appointment of Blå Kors addresses a growing concern by Lottstift about the increased demand of Hjelpelinjen, which in 2022 registered 825 inquiries, up 15% from 2020 figures.

As it expands Hjelpelinjen’s support, Blå Kors operates a network of 1,700 skilled employees, 1,500 dedicated volunteers, and 2,400 active partners on addiction matters.