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Gambling Addiction Snares Thousands in Tiny Estonia

15 November 2004

ESTONIA -- As reported by the Agence France Presse: "It is a small Baltic country with a spectacularly beautiful capital, recent European Union membership, a growing tourist industry: and a guilty secret.

"Estonia has a huge problem with gambling addiction.

"...According to a recent survey by Estonian market research company Faktum, tiny Estonia with a population of about 1.4 million, a million of them adults, has around 25,000 gambling addicts.

"...In addition to a booming private casino business, there is the state-owned "Estonian Lotto" which has been very successful in recent years and whose various gambling products can be accessed on the Internet.

"...Half of the proceeds of the (gambling) tax is used for cultural projects, including the building of the new national art museum in Tallinn due to open next year

"...The problems of casino addiction came to public attention three years ago when the head of the organisation managing 46 percent of the money received from the gambling tax confessed being an addict himself..."

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