BY: CLINTON OSTANTA JUANLIE
Discuss some ways in which governments and gambling operators might minimise harm from gambling-related problems.
Gambling, often described as a simple form of entertainment, has become uncontrollable behavior to many people. Pathological gamblers, gambling addicts, or compulsive gamblers are terms used to describe a person who considers gambling more than a diversion. The terms pathological, addictive and compulsive gambling describe the condition as a mental disorder, reflected in its inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association since 1980. This view was nurtured by a psychoanalytic approach to explaining gambling behaviour, gaining favour from the 1920s (Walker 1996:223-224). It typically viewed the condition as an illness, where the person is driven by an overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to gamble (Custer 1977). One important reason is the rapid expansion of legal gambling. This expansion has led many people who have never before gambled to try this activity. Today, gambling is as socially acceptable as a night out at the movies and as common as football match. While most people gamble for recreation and suffer no ill effects, the number of problem gamblers has flourished as the industry has grown. Both families and communities feel the economic and societal effect of gambling.
Gambling is a behavior, which causes disruptions in all areas of life: psychological, physical, and social. It has and element of addiction similar to that of drug and alcohol addiction, controlling the impulse. The gambler slowly loses control over the impulse to gamble and becomes a problem gambler. Responsible gambling programs have been initiated by some gambling operators in some jurisdictions. However, these have attracted criticism for their passive approach that places the onus on individual gamblers to recognise and act on a gambling problem, self-regulatory mechanisms for monitoring, compliance and evaluation, and non-deterrence of irresponsible practices (IPART 1998; Stephens 1998). Such programs have had minimal success in closing expectational gaps between corporate practices of gambling operators and stakeholder expectations. Nevertheless, they have provoked wider criticism of less proactive operators and heightened public awareness of the role they can play in harm minimisation and consumer protection.
In summary, expansionist government policies on gambling have been mirrored by gambling operators who have increased gambling’s accessibility and diversity and pursued aggressive marketing strategies. Public perceptions that these actions have increased problem gambling have widened an expectational gap between corporate performance in responsible provision of gambling and public and epistemic expectations.
To minimize this harm of gambling so those gamblers not turn into problem gambler. Government and gambling operator should work together to solve this problem. And there is many way to do it. For example a new statutory age limit for playing gaming machines can be increase cause if at young age people already get use to gamble a chance for them to became problem gambler is higher. In fact the Problem Gambling Committee in New Zealand statistics indicate that gaming machines are the most harmful form of gambling. In 2003, 77% of problem gambling counseling clients cited pub and club gaming machines as their main problem, and 10% cited casino gaming machines. 4.7% of clients cited race betting. These forms of gambling share the characteristic of being “continuous”, which means people can place bets quickly and repetitively. These high-risk forms of gambling have grown rapidly during the last decade (Taiwhenua, 2004). Therefore the limitation in using gaming machine should be increase for example usually casino allows 21 and above instead of that they can raise it until 30 cause...