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Macau survey suggests problem gamblers greatly affect family members

In a recent survey performed by the Sheng Kung Hui (SKH) Macao Social Services Center, it was discovered that an alarmingly large proportion of persons who have been harmed by gambling are too embarrassed to seek help.

In the period between July and October of 2021, the SKH Centre polled 124 persons who had been affected by their family members' gambling issues. The survey was done both over the phone and online, and the results were published online.

The poll's purpose was to draw attention to the negative impact gambling-related issues have on family members or relatives, as well as to provide assistance to people who are affected by gambling-related issues.

According to the poll results, more than 60% of respondents admitted to assisting gambling-addicted family members in repaying their debts, and more than half stated that they were responsible for all household expenses on their own.

Over 40% of respondents stated that they felt responsible for paying off the debts of their gambling-addicted family members, while 33% stated that they should not "interfere with" their family members' gambling behavior for fear of harming their relationship with them.

As an alternative, the SKH proposed that it establish an online counseling team with the primary objective of assisting participants in dealing with their debts.

Additionally, the SKH stated that it has received over 22,000 requests for assistance with problem gambling issues through its telephone helpline and online platform since the launch of its gambling counselling service in 2014. The majority of these requests came from family members and relatives of problem gamblers, according to the organization.

Also emphasized by the organization was the significance of continuing to work on expanding educational efforts regarding responsible gambling in the local community.


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