You're making things worse when you lend money to problem gamblers, especially when they try to quickly recoup their losses.
Thye Hua Kwan Problem Gambling Recovery Centre director Maximilian Koh said that families need to set conditions when helping gambling addicts, especially when it comes to clearing their debt.
"The family can keep all documents which can be used for moneylending, even his ATM card and credit cards. It's almost like the person is a child and has to be given an allowance," he told The New Paper.
The family can also spend time with the addict to distract him from gambling when the craving arises.
EXCLUSION ORDER ALONE NOT ENOUGH
Mr Dick Lum, executive director of Hope Centre, which provides counselling for 530 problem gamblers a year, said while families can apply for casino exclusion orders for problem gamblers, it is only a temporary solution.
That is because gamblers may have other avenues, such as online gambling and football bookies, from which to get their fix.
"An exclusion order alone is not good enough. You need to couple it with therapy as well as good family support," he said.
Mr Billy Lee, founder and executive director of the Blessed Grace Gamblers Recovery Centre, said that families need to look out for warning signs.
"Gamblers will never see that they have a problem and need to seek help unless they are in a dire situation," he said.
This article was first published on March 10, 2015.
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