Mpumalanga Gambling Board embarked on awareness campaigns on responsible gambling and dangers of prohibited gambling. These campaigns were aimed at creating awareness on dangers associated with prohibited gambling and awareness on responsible gambling. Most people are not aware of the dangers associated with prohibited gambling and also not aware that in cases where a person is addicted to any form of gambling there is a programme designed to assist in dealing with gambling addiction. The national Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP) offers counseling services to benefit of addicted people on gambling.
The campaigns took place in the Govan Mbeki area in the following areas: Kinross, eMzinoni, Embalenhle and Lebogang.
Mr. Abe Kgotle, of the MGB, gave information through informative sessions on issues such as Self Exclusion when a person wishes to be prevented from engaging in any gambling activity registers as an excluded person by submitting a notice to that effect to the MGB. A person may also apply to exclude another person such as a parent, a partner by applying to a Court of competent jurisdiction requiring that person to be excluded. By voluntarily requesting to be self-excluded means you are acknowledging that you have a gambling problem and the NRGP is always available to assist with treatment before the exclusion is lifted up.
Responsible Gambling means gambling for entertainment only and not spending more money or time gambling than one can afford to. The essence of responsible gambling is informed consumer choice. The MGB encourages people to make informed choices when gambling so that they do not end up being problem gamblers.
These communities were also educated in prohibited gambling such as cards and dice games for prizes, animal racing including horse racing on unlicensed race courses, animal fighting, Chinese roulette, mshayina, gambling machines without licenses, cherry master machines, poker for prizes and internet gambling. Unlicensed illegal gambling operators are not safe and it is a criminal offence to gamble at such sites. Disputes with an illegal gambling operator are not governed by the Board.
Gambling at such sites puts gamblers at risks such as being robbed after the winnings due to unavailability of services of ensuring that the money can be safely deposited into your account or given a cheques. You carry the lump sum and might be robbed in the process.
Legal gambling operators contribute to the economic growth of the province as the operators pay levies which are collected by the MGB and given back to the government. These levies can be used by the government to improve service delivery in the province and also create much needed jobs. Illegal operators do not contribute to the economic growth of the province. They do not pay taxes and legal operators pay taxes which contribute job creation and revenue generation to the government.
Mr. Kgotle explained that when issuing licences, the MGB takes into consideration a research that was done to clearly define scopes such as which areas deserve a certain number of licenses. He said that the fact that you have a business that has a liquor license does not automatically qualify you for a license, there are other processes and qualifying criteria set standards which contributes to qualifying for the license such as your business is not next to schools and churches.
Miss Mpumalanga, Ntandoyenkosi Kunene told community members that the MGB is committed to ensuring an illegal gambling free environment. She encouraged the youth to concentrate in their studies and refrain from involving themselves in prohibited gambling activities. She also encouraged parents to take interest in what their children are involved in. She further explained her role as the MGB ambassador which is to fly the message of the responsible gambling higher. Miss Nkosi said “Communities need to be aware of the dangers of problem gambling as it sometimes leads to undesirable habits such as stealing and lying to get money to feed the gambling habits”. She pleaded with community members to take this message seriously and also spread the message to other members who could not attend the event.
If you would like to be counselled on problem gambling you can call the NRGP on 0800 006 008 and to report illegal gambling activities, you may call the Mpumalanga Gambling Board “MGB” on 013 750 8000.
More campaigns are planned for the current year. Kindly check the MGB website www.mgb.org.za, Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mgbresponsiblegambling , email email@example.com or call the MGB offices on 013 750 8000
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