Most people gamble for fun and entertainment. Yet a small proportion does gamble to excess. The Study on Hong Kong People’s Participation in Gambling Activities commissioned by the Home Affairs Bureau in 2012, conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, found less than 2% of the local population could be considered as possible problem gamblers or possible pathological gamblers.
Any negative impact on an individual’s life caused by gambling may be construed as signs of problem gambling. This includes harm to one’s family, financial conditions, work performance, or mental and physical well-being. The most common symptoms of problem gambling are:
High intensity forms of gambling that offers continuous play and rapid, repeated staking is a major cause of problem gambling behaviours. An obvious example is illegal online gambling games where access is possible seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Forms of gambling where credit is available are also highly conducive to problem gambling.
Other causes may include:
The level of severity may vary among problem gamblers, but the harms their behaviour inflicted on their family relationships, financial conditions, work performance, as well as mental and physical health are just as profound. The adverse effects include:
The great majority of people gamble in a controlled way as a form of entertainment. You can follow these useful tips to gamble in a responsible manner: