Pages

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Exclusion order no solution for gambling addicts

I REFER to the report, “Families can now apply for gamblers’ exclusion order” (my paper, April 2).

I applaud the National Council on Problem Gambling for proactively trying to curb addiction to gambling and putting in place social safeguards to ensure that casinos here do not create more problems of gambling addiction.

At the same time, I question the effectiveness of any steps taken to do so, short of making gambling illegal.

The step to bar undischarged bankrupts and those on the Public Assistance scheme from casinos is a small step, but one which is in the wrong direction.

It is merely a token act. Also, it could be seen as discrimination because one group is being singled out.

Creating such a blacklist is not necessary. It is a case of double jeopardy – humiliating someone twice for a single mistake.

I have faith that a network of family and friends can do what is right for gambling addicts.

If Singapore really has the interest of such addicts at heart, introduce prevention programmes for gambling addiction and its related problems should be introduced to educate potential gamblers.

In any case, gambling addiction is only one of many addictions to vice – if one includes addiction to alcohol, drugs, smoking and sex – that plague society.

Mr Sebastian Tan



From myPaper, My Say
Tuesday, 07-April-2009