Singapore’s Gambling Authority Issues Fresh Warning on Gambling Addiction


Posted: October 28, 2014

Updated: June 4, 2017

From April 2013 until March of current year Singapore has recorded a rise of 62 new gambling cases which called for attention with local gaming authorities.

The National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) has issued new results that indicate a 17 percent rise in gambling activity in a case that stretched over a period of one year. There were a total of reported 356 cases before the fresh findings were released, however from April of last year until March of the current year an overall of 418 new gambling cases emerged.

Despite the fact that the results don’t reflect a rise in gambling addiction, it does indicate that there has been an increase in the gaming activities, gambling news reports. Singapore authorities are now worried what may come of the new findings and are prepared to make the necessary steps to ensure that the new cases do not graduate into serious gambling problems.

Two centers provide assistance with problem gambling

• Gambling cases went up from 356 to 418

• Thye Hua Kwan (THK) and NAMS provide help with problem gambling

• APSAC president explains the difficulty of the counselling profession

One of the main reasons why there have been a reported addition of 62 new cases can be attributed to greater awareness of avenues that provide help related to problem gambling. People have started seeking assistance and treatment when they happened to find themselves in compromising circumstance due to gambling and were willing to ask for help, which is that the result are in fact mirroring.

Due to this there has been a rise in qualified personnel, counsellors and other providers that are willing to help gambling problems. The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has created two special centers where people can seek the professional help they need to battle their gambling addictions. National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) and the Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Problem Recovery Center are the two respective help providers.

Mobile betting sites report that the number of gambling cases have risen when it comes to NAMS, while on the other hand THK’s center has managed to hold the number of cases steady throughout the recent period. In 2012 there were a total of 302 gambling cases being treated at THK Problem Gambling Recovery Center, while a year later the number slightly subsided to 296. Although this a small margin, it nevertheless represents improvement.

Help centers have the available resources to treat problem gamblers

Gamblers that have experience a problem with their mobile casino plays and other similar pursuits, have been afforded adequate care and resources for their treatment. The executive director of both NAMS and THK Problem Gambling Recovery Center, Maximilian Koh, stated that gamblers have all the necessary resources to help them with their problems.

Singapore problem gambling - GamingZion

Singaporean help centers have the available resources to treat problem gamblers

A spokesperson from NAMS has highlighted that manpower for managing addiction has managed to grow and become greatly efficient with the increased funding, although trained manpower remains the obstacle. “The team of psychiatrists, counsellors and allied health professionals, nurses, researchers, clinic operations staff and administrative staff is able to meet the current demand for addiction management services.”

Mr. Suresh Anantha, the head of Allied Health and Principal Counsellor at NAMS, explained how the gambling body maintains a great relationship with other similar authorities that provide similar assistance as they meet on two occasion throughout the year. “NAMS also holds dialogues with community partners such as One Hope Centre, WE CARE Community Services and Credit Counselling Singapore twice a year.”

Anantha also added that giving the necessary tools and special expertise to these respective centers is vital for their battle against problem gambling. “It also works with the NCPG to provide training for all family service centres and school counsellors islandwide – to help them detect problem gamblers, provide brief interventions and refer the cases when necessary.”

The president of the Association of Professionals Specializing in Addiction Counselling (APSAC), Tony Ting, reports that with the end of last month there were 54 real gambling counsellors registered with the group. Ting highlights that this mark is an increase of 28 percent from two years ago which indicates that there has been greater support for the problem gamblers than before.

The association’s president also commented on the difficulty of the profession and how it has an impact on certified counsellors deciding to leave the job. “Helping people in recovery from an addiction such as gambling is difficult and arduous… multiple relapses after periods of abstinence are common – this could be one of the reasons.”

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