AS THE December holiday season approaches South Africans will be flocking to entertainment hotspots to relax and have fun.
But don’t do it in such a way that it affects the wellbeing of yourself and your family.
Gambling is one of those problem areas where enjoyment can be very costly.
This is why the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation promotes awareness about problem and responsible gambling.
What is problem gambling?
Problem gambling is when a person has the near-unstoppable urge to gamble in spite of the trouble is causes.
“We think that 3% of South Africans can be classified as problem gamblers but 0, 5 % are pathological gamblers.” said Sibongile Simelane-Quntana, executive director of the gambling foundation.
Pathological gamblers have an impulse control disorder that pushes them to gamble uncontrollably.
“We get an increase in calls over the festive season when people get their bonuses and holidays at the same time.”
The Foundation’s National Responsible Gambling Programme has a list of problem gambling warning signs.
- Constantly thinking or obsessed with gambling
- Lying or hiding gambling from family and friends
- Trying to win back losses by gambling more
- Risky or illegal measures to get gambling money
- Preferring to gamble rather than attend important events like a family get together
- Feeling anxious or moody when not gambling
- A breakdown of relationships as a result of gambling
- Neglecting personal needs like sleeping, hygiene and eating in favour of gambling
- Manipulating people into lending or giving money to be used in gambling.
Like any addiction, the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. A gambling addiction is difficult to fight alone and support is available. Call the foundation’s 24-hour, confidential and free helpline on 0800 006 008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org