Macau problem gamblers rise 11.3 percent in 2017

The number of people registered as having a gambling disorder in Macau rose 11.3 percent in 2017, according to the Social Welfare Bureau’s Central Registry System of Problem Gamblers.

A total of 157 people were on the list at the end of 2017, compared with 141 the prior year. More than 60 percent of those seeking help were male, with most in the age range of 40 to 49. The youngest on the list is 20.

The registry was established in 2011 and aims to gather information on those with gambling issues. The data helps the government allocate resources to social services.

According to the registry, more than 80 percent seeking help last year were holders of the Macau SAR resident card and half of them were married.

Within help-seekers who stated they are employed, over 10 percent of them work as “dealer/croupier.”

Not all those seeking help were in financial difficulty, with 30 percent saying they were not in debt. For those who were in debt, just under a third of them said their liabilities amounted to MOP250,000 ($30,8550 or more.

The main reason given for gambling was to resolve financial difficulties.