Roadshows to advocate responsible gambling

A guest at a game booth during the launch of the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week at the Resorts World Convention Centre on May 10, 2019.
A guest at a game booth during the launch of the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week at the Resorts World Convention Centre on May 10, 2019.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

To advocate responsible gambling, a series of educational roadshows will be held across 24 venues over the next fortnight as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

Among other things, gambling patrons will learn to keep to a budget they have set, and to take breaks between play.

From today to May 23, 28 roadshows will be held across different venues including Marina Bay Sands (MBS), Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), Singapore Turf Club, and several social clubs and Singapore Pools outlets.

The initiative, which was launched yesterday at the Resorts World Convention Centre, is organised by the Responsible Gambling Forum, a group set up by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in 2013.

It comprises industry and community leaders who come together to discuss and share information about societal concerns on gambling and come up with measures to promote responsible gambling.

Based on the Gambling Participation Survey - conducted every three years by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) - the probable pathological and problem gambling rate of Singapore residents fell from 2.6 per cent in 2011 to 0.9 per cent in 2017. Last year, 967 people were counselled - the highest number since 2014, going by NCPG data.

The co-chair of the forum, Dr Patrick Liew, said at the launch that it was "heartening to see that focus has been placed on strengthening social safeguards" following the recent government announcement that gaming operations of MBS and RWS will be expanded.

RWS chief executive Tan Hee Teck said all its casino staff receive mandatory training to look out for signs of problem gambling on the casino grounds.

"On the gaming business, we will continue to work closely with MSF and NCPG to uphold our commitment to promoting a responsible gambling environment in Singapore," said Mr Tan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Roadshows to advocate responsible gambling'. Print Edition | Subscribe