|A government-backed study in South Africa has concluded that 5% of those with easy access to commercial gambling facilities gamble too much. The research was carried out by the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP), which is backed by the government and the gambling industry. |
The executive director of the National Centre for the Study of Gambling at the University of Cape Town, Professor Peter Collins, said last Thursday the NRGP had surveyed 5,816 South Africans living in urban areas “with easy access to commercial gambling”.
270 respondents answered yes to seven or more of the gamblers anonymous questions, a slight increase on the last survey in 2001 - up from about 3.8%. These punters were classed as problem gamblers, defined as people who could not afford to gamble the amount they did.
However, only 0.7% had an addiction to gambling as severe as alcoholism and drug addiction.
The research indicated 72% of people played the lottery regularly in South Africa - once a week – an increase from 69.5% two years ago.
Collins said the majority of South Africans did not have a gambling problem and the rise in problem gambling was mainly down to the national lottery.