Gambling Clinic opens in Salzburg

A gambling clinic has been opened in Salzburg to treat the city’s growing number of gambling addicts.

Around 5,000 Salzburg residents are addicts and it affects more and more young people. Until now addicts have been able to find help at the Self-help Group for Anonymous Gamblers and at the Provincial Social Medicine Service but it is hoped that the new clinic will be able to offer more extensive treatment.

The facility is the brain-child of Friedrich Wurst who takes the role of physician, psychiatrist and addiction specialist at the Christian-Doppler Clinic.

The gambling addiction clinic is being supported by Casinos Austria, a relationship that Wurst say is not uncomfortable. „On one side they are taking responsibility. Further it has to do with image.“

The new clinic is working closely with other programs for gambling addicts. To encourage addicts to visit the clinic, it has been proposed that the facility will soon be moved from the Doppler Clinic to a shopping mall in the city center.

Experts say that gambling addicts often have other associated problems. They can have problems with alcohol or other substances and emotional issues, such as depression.

Therapy costs for gambling addiction are covered by most health insurance policies.