n South African Medical Journal - Addressing problem gambling : South Africa's National Responsible Gambling Programme : editorial

Volume 101, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



In the English-speaking world and some parts of Europe, problem and pathological gambling are treated as a significant public health problem. At the same time, these jurisdictions recognise that for most of those who engage in it, gambling is a harmless leisure activity that may yield public benefits by contributing more in taxation than other leisure industries and/or contributing to out-of-town tourism. Strategies that combine minimising the harm caused with maximising the benefits of gambling are therefore crucial for good public policy. Such lessons may also be relevant to other legal and illegal industries, such as those involving the production and sales of alcohol, where analogous harms and benefits exist.

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