HomeGamingYouth Warned Against Gambling Risks Amid Rising Industry Profits

Youth Warned Against Gambling Risks Amid Rising Industry Profits

This Youth Month, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is cautioning young South Africans about the perils of gambling. With addiction potential and severe financial consequences for families, the FSCA’s warning comes as the nation’s betting industry reports a revenue jump from R8.8 billion in 2019/20 to R23.7 billion in 2022/23.

The surge in betting profits contrasts starkly with South Africa’s growing unemployment, which affects 50% of the youth, and an escalating cost of living. Gambling, while a valid leisure activity, poses significant risks, particularly to the youth, prompting calls for increased awareness and regulation.

A recent survey by infoQuest highlighted Lotto as South Africa’s preferred gambling choice, followed by online gaming and sports betting. The country’s strong sports culture fuels the use of online betting platforms.

The FSCA’s Financial Literacy Baseline study reveals that 37% of South Africans are inclined towards risk-taking for potential monetary gains, with 25% making risky financial decisions. Young individuals are often lured by quick financial wins and risk-taking thrills, leading to possible addiction, financial instability, and negative impacts on mental health and academics.

Dangers of Gambling:

  • The cycle of gambling can lead to persistent losses.
  • Using credit for gambling can harm credit scores and future credit opportunities.
  • Borrowing from loan sharks intensifies debt issues.
  • Gambling addiction creates secrecy and shame, hindering recovery efforts.
  • Untreated addiction can cause low self-esteem and mental health issues.

Preventing Compulsive Gambling:

  • Set and adhere to gambling limits.
  • Avoid debt-financed gambling.
  • Limit gambling time strictly.
  • Set realistic goals to reduce and stop gambling.
  • Engage in healthy activities as alternatives to gambling.

The FSCA urges young people to explore sustainable wealth-building methods and gain marketable online skills as healthier economic responses.

For more details on this report, please refer to the FSCA’s latest findings and recommendations.

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