Gambling - devilish activity?

Prevention and Contrast of Pathological Gambling

Today’s press conference in the Hall of the Municipal Palace of Alexandria was intended to present the event scheduled for May 5, and addressed to the students of Alexandria, as part of a project promoted by the Municipal Administration, ASL AL and Libera on the subject of prevention And the contrast of gambling.

At the press conference, the Municipal Councilor for Social Co-ordination in Alexandria, the President of the Third Municipal Committee on Social and Health Policies, representatives of Institutional Subjects directly involved in the project (Free and ASL AL) and also a representative of the “Anonymous Players” group. 

A new training meeting 

The May 5th event at 10.00am is specifically dedicated to students of Secondary School of Second Degree and Vocational Training Schools in Algeria and – thanks to the contribution of AMAG Reti Gas – will declare as a new training meeting scheduled at the Liceo Classico ” G. Plana “in Alessandria (Piazza Matteotti) and conducted by the TAXI 1729 trainers (for years they are hosts of the Schools of the City): a meeting for which is attended by about 250 students. The title of the event is “Do Our Game” and consists of a lab on gambling math. 

The press conference was also an opportunity to focus on preventive awareness-raising initiatives and information on this serious social problem that poses a risk that, in particularly vulnerable people, can lead to a real behavioral addiction ( Pathological Gambling – GAP).

This condition – it is stressed by speakers present at the press conference – is recognized as a complex compulsive disorder, ie as a pathological form that can cause serious discomfort to the person. 

From a social point of view, people with GAPs pose a high risk of personal financial impairment that has obvious repercussions on the family and workplace, until they get serious debts and demand for usury loans. This is one of the aspects that links pathological gambling to organized crime that invests energy and capital in this area. 

The effect of gambling 

At a time when the game is having negative and documented effects on many people’s health, it is necessary to take into account the need to introduce more stringent forms of regulatory and protection, especially in light of the strong evolution that these activities are having on the internet , Where it becomes extremely difficult to exercise controls and introduce forms of prevention. 

Regarding the situation in the province of Alexandria, the volume of money played amounts to about 1,400 euros per capita per year; At 431,200 people, at least 3,450 are dependent players and 14,000 are at risk of addiction. Families with a challenging player member account for about 27,000 people, but if we consider even gamblers at risk, then more than 100,000 citizens are involved, almost a quarter of the population.

However, in Serd ASL AL, in 2016, about 80 users are involved, of which 48 in Alexandria, too few if we consider the estimates of the phenomenon.

Very often, GAP is associated with the use of drugs, alcohol abuse, and psychiatric disorders, and particularly affects young people, although adults and older people are not free of it.

For this reason, in the Province, initiatives have been taken in recent years to reduce discomfort, increase awareness of risk and misleading advertising in young people. 

In 2016, Nomisma – in collaboration with the University of Bologna – carried out an investigation involving a large sample of Italian second-grade secondary schools and attended by about 11,000 children aged 14 to 19.

Research results show that interest in gambling is often linked to the skills needed to assess the probability of a possible payout. The propensity to play changes – for example – in relation to mathematical performance: the proportion of players reaches 51% among those who have poor performance, while 46% of those who have more than 8 tenths of vote.

The possession of specific probabilistic skills is also a predictive factor: the proportion of players rises to 55% among those who can not solve simple probabilistic questions. 

Various initiatives against gambling 

From experimentation with high school students, it emerges that young people are especially strong in online gambling, here you see their favorite online casino games. It should not be forgotten that even in the bars it is possible for minors to access slots, games and sports betting for lack of effective control over their access. 

For about three years, various initiatives have been launched on the territory of Alexandria, including the project “I do not play: a winning bet”, funded by the Fondazione Social and with contributions from the municipalities of Acqui Terme and Alessandria, which have determined important collaborations Between the municipalities, the SerD ASL AL, the social services and other subjects of association, the schools and the professions, on the subject of the prevention and contrast of pathological gambling and gambling maths.

Among the latest initiatives on the territory we remember: 

The constitution in March of a working table attended by the Municipal Administration of Alexandria, the Department of Pathology of the Dependencies of ASL AL, Caritas Diocesana of Alexandria, the partners of the Project “I do not play: A winning bet “(Parcival Association, Free, Vision Association, Acqui Terme listening desk, Cissaca), Ovada Social Services Consortium, the Social Foundation, the Il Gabbiano Cooperative, the Anonymous Players Group of Alexandria , The Order of Doctors of the Province of Alexandria, the Community of St. Benedict to the Port. 

The first steps of this working table were addressed to a coordinated communication on the subject, to a training activity for Caritas and Cissaca volunteers and operators to better interact with users who practice gambling in a frequent and compulsive manner; 

The creation of a collaborative relationship with the Anonymous Players Group who stated their willingness to meet with students to share their experience, also available to provide support activities to former players; 

From the spring 2016 they were held in various 6-slotmob provincial centers to reward the exercises they chose not to install slot machines in their local area.

Finally, the approval of a regional law has begun to bear fruit, by controlling and pursuing those holding holders who do not comply with municipal regulations.