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