You may think you have it un­der con­trol, but be­fore you know it, you could be ad­dicted

CityPress - - Busi­ness -

Re­search from the Na­tional Re­spon­si­ble Gam­bling Pro­gramme (NRGP) shows that: The preva­lence of prob­lem gam­bling, al­though some­what higher over­all in South Africa, has re­mained rel­a­tively sta­ble since 2000;

The ru­ral poor hardly gam­ble at all, but ex­ces­sive gam­bling at in­for­mal and il­le­gal venues is a prob­lem in South African town­ships;

The lot­tery pro­duces more prob­lems for play­ers in poorer ar­eas than in more af­flu­ent ju­ris­dic­tions; and

Gam­bling prob­lems are sig­nif­i­cantly cor­re­lated with other psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­or­ders, such as sub­stance abuse, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.

Such in­for­ma­tion clearly shows the need for the NRGP, which is man­aged by the SA Re­spon­si­ble Gam­bling Foun­da­tion. It is worth not­ing that the NRGP is seen as a global leader in pro­mot­ing re­spon­si­ble gam­bling – it is cost-ef­fec­tive and one of the most com­pre­hen­sive pro­grammes in the world.

One rea­son for its suc­cess is that the NRGP, which was of­fi­cially launched in 2000, has es­tab­lished a unique or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture that al­lows in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives and reg­u­la­tors to pro­mote re­spon­si­ble gam­bling while min­imis­ing the harm caused by prob­lem gam­bling. The pro­gramme is funded by vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions of 0.1% of gross gam­bling rev­enue from the gam­bling in­dus­try.

Although most peo­ple en­gage in gam­bling as a leisure ac­tiv­ity, there are some for whom gam­bling be­comes a prob­lem that causes per­sonal and fam­ily harm.

It is for this rea­son that the NRGP fol­lows a mul­ti­pronged ap­proach to ad­dress­ing prob­lem gam­bling through pub­lic aware­ness, treat­ment, train­ing, coun­selling and re­search.

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