How Norway got it right – The principles of the loss limit at play

The Herald Times is reporting some drastic, yet effective measures that Norway has implemented to safeguard its citizens from gambling addictions:

The government has been concerned about the increasing number of Norwegians reported to be addicted to gambling machines, and in July 2007 it banned all privately owned machines while it looked for a way of regulating them effectively.

Following the ban, the number of people who called a national gambling help line plunged, from 2,276 in 2004 to 330 so far this year.

Now that the Norwegian government has regulatory control over gambling they are perusing measures to help prevent addiction and the principles behind a unique Missouri law are paving the way. Missouri’s $500 loss limit benefits us in many ways including its ability to help protect those with compulsive gambling problems by slowing down the process and breaking up the controlling rhythms experienced by compulsive and problem gamblers. The Herald Times explains just how Norway adopted these principles:

“There will be limits on how much an individual can lose, they will be closed at night and there will be a cooling-off period after one hour of continuous play,” the minister, Trond Giske, said.

The machines will not take cash or credit cards, and can only be used with a prepaid card sold by Norsk Tipping to registered players over the age of 18.

The system will limit the amount that can be bet per game to 50 kroner (US$10), and set a loss limit of 400 kroner (US$80) per day and 2,200 kroner (US$440) per month per player, even if they have more than one card.

Aggressive measures like this in place that truly safeguard those who gamble begs the question; Why are we dealing with measures that seek to remove the loss limit instead of looking to ways to better protect our families?

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