Gambling addiction can be one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Most of the times this addiction ends with the addict ending up homeless or disowned by his or her family. People with this addiction destroy themselves, not healthwise, but financially and mentally. It has been shown that the people most susceptible to this addiction mostly reside in the lower class of the population, wishing to make a quick profit and become rich fast. No wonder that EU’s poorest country, Bulgaria is the one suffering the most from this addiction.
Even though Bulgaria has one of the poorest populations within the European Union, it still managed to amass one of the most successful gambling industries in the region. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Bulgarians have fallen victim to the gambling addiction, leaving out hundreds of others who are also daily visitors of the gambling sites. It is estimated that the gambling sites in the country are close to $2 billion in worth, making them one of the most profitable industries in the country.
Why is this happening?
Marketing campaigns all over the country have prompted the population to give it a go and try their luck with the industry. It was reported by a Bulgarian psychotherapist that almost half of the country has been involved with gambling in some shape or form. It has also been documented that one of the most popular ways to gamble in the country is the newly introduced scratch cards which people have to buy one by one. It is imperative to say that these scratch cards are probably one of the cheapest investment that gambling providers can opt for, therefore increasing their ever growing profits.
Who are the victims?
A Bulgarian psychotherapist by the name of Anna Todorova has listed potential groups who could fall victim to the gambling addiction and its horrible consequences. By her words, the younger population is in the biggest danger, because starting from a young age, and addiction or a bad habit is the hardest to get rid of, plus they are still very irrational and unable to make measured and educated decisions. The second group we already mentioned at the beginning of the article, these are uneducated and poor members of the society, desperate to make a quick buck and become rich out of nowhere. Even if they come back from the casino with some winnings they always end up returning and losing it the very next day.
How is the Government fighting this?
The problems have not gone unnoticed with the government. In terms of politics, very recently a bill was introduced by the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, which is the majority political party of the country led by the Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov. The bill includes serious restrictions for gambling advertisements and the restrictions on scratch card sales.
Hopefully, this will be enough to actually be a salvation for an increasing “epidemic” of gambling in this European country.