Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Euro fever: Mykitzone customer Joyce Lim, 20, looking at authentic techfit jerseys for the Euro 2012. These player issue jerseys are the exact ones worn by players and come in a nice bag.
Gambling problems are expected to get worse after Euro 2012 ends.
According to the Gamblers Rehab Centre, the number of calls to the GRC hotline is expected to triple after July 1.
Its secretary Karline Chew said: “It is only after the games, when they've lost all their money, that the gamblers or family seek help over their debts.
“It is a trend. After a sporting event is over, calls to our hotline shoot up, especially after football games.”
Chew said the centre now received an average of five calls a day on gambling problems but the number would hit 10 to 15 after Euro 2012.
“The GRC will stand by for a spike in calls. We will try to get more volunteers to counsel gamblers who wish to be rehabilitated,” she said, adding that calls soared to 27 a day after the 2010 World Cup.
She said gamblers usually did not call the hotline themselves.
“Serious gambling cases affect family members and usually it is either the gambler's spouse or parents who will seek help,” Chew said, adding that most of those involved in football gambling were men.
She said the most tragic case she encountered was a punter who jumped off a building when he could not handle his gambling debts.
Chew said the GRC had two main call centres in Kuala Lumpur and Johor.
“After we receive calls, we give the callers the number of our service station nearest to them. Our volunteers will then meet and counsel them,” she said.
Chew said the GRC also had two shelters for gambling addicts who sought rehabilitation.
“They will spend three months in our shelters in Seremban or Kluang,” she said.
“In those three months, the gamblers will not be allowed to communicate with the world outside,” said Chew. “Activities will be conducted to help them overcome their addiction.”