Problem Gambling in Singapore

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CONTENT PAGE
1. SIGNIFICANCE OF PROBLEM GAMBLING IN SINGAPORE ------------ 1-2 2. THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS --------------------- 3-4 3.1. Possible Causes to Problem Gambling
3.2. Possible Ways of Treating Addiction
3. WIDESPREAD CONSEQUENCES OF PROBLEM GAMBLING ------------ 5-6 4.3. The Community
4.4. The Family Unit
4. SOCIAL INTERVENTIONS AND SERVICE PROVISIONS ----------------- 7-11 5.5. Establishment of NCPG
5.6. Establishment of Social Service Agencies and NAMS 5.7. Counselling Services
5.8. Stringent Social Safeguards for the Locals
5.9.1. Casino Control Act Exclusion Orders
5.9. Increasing Public Awareness and Education
5.10.2. More Funds Allocated to Increasing Public Awareness 5.10.3. Through Television Serials
5.10.4. Conducting Youth Gambling Prevention Workshops 5. LIMITATIONS OF CURRENT EFFORTS ------------------------------------------- 12-13 6.10. Lack of Outreach to Youths
6.11. Alternative Forms and Avenues to Gambling
6. CONCLUSION ----------------------------------------------------------- 14 7. BIBLIOGRAPHY ---------------------------------------------------------- 15 1. SIGNIFICANCE OF PROBLEM GAMBLING IN SINGAPORE

Problem Gambling (PG) occurs when a person’s gambling causes harm to themselves and/or to those around them such as a partner, family, friends, or others in the community. (Government of South Australia) As of the Gambling Survey Report 2008 conducted by the MCYS, the issue of problem gambling in Singapore has intensified over the years. There was a stark increase in the median monthly betting amounts by Singaporeans, from $83 to $100 since the year 2005. Also, the results raised a concern for early onset of gambling with more youths engaging themselves in such activities as seen in Figure 1 where there is an increase in 10% of youths below 18 years old having their first gambling experience.

Figure 1: Starting Age of First Gambling and Regular Gambling Participation (Lenna, 2008) Furthermore, following the advent of the newly opened casinos in 2010, we should be showing more concern to this issue as it could bring about disastrous impacts to the social and family structure in Singapore. With an increase in betting amounts and accessibility to gambling for people especially the youths, this emerging social issue requires our immediate attention as we are already witnessing the early symptoms of a social problem. In my paper, I will not only be analysing the impacts and other possible social problems brought about by PG, more importantly, I will be scrutinising the existing social intervention policies and service provisions in place that tackle the ill-effects of PG.

2. THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS
Before I commence on my analysis, I will be exploring on the different theories of PG brought to light by Meta and Wee to provide a clearer picture on how PG starts developing and how to go about treating this addiction.

2.1 Possible Causes of Problem Gambling
Individual Personality
The Personality-Vulnerability model highlights that some personality traits such as sensation-seeking and impulsive behaviour increases the chances of one becoming a problem gambler. This is so as they would see gambling as an exhilarating activity that gives them much pleasure and will not consider the negative consequences of their bets. Therefore, the risks of one with such would be much higher and would require more attention. It would be better to detect such personalities earlier and educate them before they pick up gambling and become a compulsive gambler.

Environmental Factors
The Learning and Cognitive theories considers the various stages development of an individual, especially the influence of the surroundings on his/her development. The Social Learning theory (SLT) is an example of such. SLT links the...
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