A total of 133 people registered with Macau’s “Central Registry System of Individuals with Gambling Disorder” in 2018, down 15.3 percent from the previous year, said the city’s Social Welfare Bureau in its latest published report on the subject.
The 2018 number was the lowest on record in any year since the central system was launched in 2011. An aggregate of 1,146 people has registered with the system in the past eight years, showed the data.
The Macau government uses the register to gather statistical information about those gamblers that seek help for their behaviour. The authorities say the aim is to understand the individuals’ gambling habits and actions. More than 81 percent of the people seeking government help last year were Macau residents, the report showed.
According to the document, slightly above 81 percent of those listed last year as registered problem gamblers were people in employment. Of those, nearly 12 percent worked in a “dealer/croupier” role in one of the city’s casinos, indicated the data.
The Social Welfare Bureau said the majority of the people seeking help in 2018 fell within the 40 to 49 age range, with the average age being 39.1 years among all registrants. The report showed that about of 36 percent of the registered problem gamblers last year were classified as having a “moderate” gambling disorder, while nearly 35 percent were classified as having a “severe” one.
According to the report, about 65 percent of the problem gamblers on the register had debts; and among those in debt, more than 24 percent stated that their debts were in the range of MOP100,000 (US$12,368) to MOP250,000.
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DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd