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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Why kids become addicted to gambling

Gamblers Rehab Centre says youths make up about 35% of its patients.
GRC-1
PETALING JAYA: The number of young people addicted to gambling may be growing, according to the Gamblers Rehab Centre (GRC).
Speaking to FMT, GRC president Mosco Ang said youngsters made up about 35% of the centre’s currents patients.
“The number of youths who end up in our centre is quite large with the youngest patients being about 18 years old,” he said. “This leads me to believe that there must be more of them out there.”
He said gambling addiction among youths appeared to be more prevalent in rural areas.
An important contributing factor was the depressing environment, he added.
“If you grow up in an area that is dirty, not well taken care of, where the crime rate is high, and where a large section of the society is made up of crooks, then you’re more likely to turn to gambling as a form of entertainment to get your mind off the things going on around you.
“Also, if you’re mixing with the wrong kind of crowd, then you’re more likely to do bad things as well.”
He said children living in clean neighbourhoods and growing up around decent people were more likely to abstain from unhealthy activities.
“Those who come from more financially stable backgrounds, live in good neighbourhoods, go to good schools – they don’t have the chance to pick up bad habits.
“When you live in a clean neighbourhood, if the roads are clean, you feel safe, you become a more positive and happier person.”
Ang also said parents had a big role to play in ensuring their children don’t turn to gambling.
“It’s not about how much money you’re making,” he said. “You need to create a loving environment at home. There must be quality time spent with the children. If both parents are working, then children are raised by those around them, and if those around them are bad, then the children become bad.”
He warned parents that the internet made it easier for youths to pick up negative habits.
“Nowadays there’s online gambling; so you don’t even have to go out anymore. You can gamble from home on your mobile phone.”
Ang urged the government as well as the media to pitch in to ensure a healthy environment for youths.
“The media needs to stop showing so much negative images on the television screens at home. We have enough of that going on around us. Put up good positive images and messages so when we turn on the TV, we’re not so stressed out.
“The government also needs to help by cleaning up the streets and making sure that the country is both clean and safe. This will go a long way in improving the mood of the rakyat.”
A newspaper yesterday published a report about a 17-year-old boy in Johor Bahru whose online gambling activity landed him and his family in trouble with creditors.
A group of men who claimed to be creditors went to his house in Taman Mutiara Rini in three cars and demanded RM32,000 from the parents, the report said. -FMT

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