In the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission’s (BGLC) latest webinar, the panel discussed responsible gaming and the dynamics of gambling addiction in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
What is it?
The guest speakers discussed the approach to treating responsible gaming in Jamaica and outlined gambling addiction as a ‘public health concern’ with connections to other forms of addiction and irrational behaviour.
Who is it?
Jeanette Lewis, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Communication, BGLC
Laurie Wiggan, Director of Compliance and Regulatory, BGLC
Richard Henry, Programme Manager, BGLC/RISE Responsible Gaming Programme, RISE Life Management Services
What is being said?
Laurie Wiggan discussed gambling addiction as a threat to public health and outlined the treatment services offered by the BGLC.
“We all know that gambling or gambling addiction is a public health concern not just for Jamaica, but also in the Caribbean, and also globally,” she began.
“People who experience gambling disorders often face other challenges at the same time, such as mental illness, addiction to alcohol and drugs, and also family violence.
“Currently, we have 31% women and 69% men enrolled in the voluntary service programme. However, we’ve had over 600 requests, with an average of five per month, and of course, most of these people are unwilling to go through the full registration.
“The social cost of gambling harm to Jamaica is very high. And like all public health concerns, gambling or gambling addiction really needs proper understanding and attention, and yes of course resources to reduce and even prevent such harm to arise in the first place. This is why responsible gaming once again is a strategic priority for the BGLC in collaboration with our partners.”
Richard Henry built on his career and experience as a psychiatrist, and praised the BGLC’s efforts in providing treatment and developing an understanding of responsible gaming.
He detailed: “Jamaica’s responsible gambling programme is an excellent programme, and I’m saying it is excellent not just because of the BGLC or because of Rise, it is excellent because of how you guys have – I’m talking about the gaming industry, the gaming lounges – how you guys have adapted to the information, how you guys have pushed or the programme that we’ve tried to establish, and the understanding of responsive gaming just among your staff has grown tremendously.”
Why should I watch it?
To gain an understanding of gambling addiction and responsible gaming initiatives in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region.
Where can I see more?
To hear Jeanette Lewis and fellow BGLC Director Maurice Thompson discuss licensing standards with the Jamaica Information Service, click here.