The number of telephone calls to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) helpline in Singapore has more than doubled since the Resorts World Sentosa casino opened on February 14.
The 24-hour hotline first opened in October last year and averaged around 200 callers per month up until the end of January. In February it received 450 calls and 520 in March. The council said more people are now aware of gambling issues since the casino opened.
“Typically in the past, they [gamblers] would just ask us questions about where they can seek help and how to recognise if someone is a problem gambler. Now there’s a lot more sharing on the lines,” said Mildred Tan, Chairperson of the Council’s Public Communications Subcommittee, according to a report on Channel News Asia.
Mrs Tan added that the council is working with Resorts World Sentosa to ensure safeguards against problem gambling are effectively implemented at the casino. One such idea is the use of help cards scattered around the premises.
“The help cards were initially placed where you pay the S$100 [casino levy], now they have extended it to put it in the bathroom for example, so that nobody knows I’m picking up a help card or things like that,” she said.
More people are expected to seek help for problem gambling when the Marina Bay Sands casino opens on April 27.