Doctor warns betting on World Cup matches may lead to gambling addiction

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BANGKOK, 6 June 2014  – The Department of Mental Health warned on Thursday those who partake in gambling activities during the football World Cup period put themselves at risk of gambling addiction, which may lead to depression and suicide.

Dr. Phanphimon Wiluppakon, deputy director-general of the Department of Mental Health, spoke of Chulalongkorn University’s findings relating to the behaviors of gamblers and effects gambling has on the individuals. The university recently found that college students favored betting in football match results through dealers, and the online medium was the most widely used channel for exchange of football gambling information.

According to figures obtained from the Department of Mental Health’s quit-gambling hotline service, 30 percent of all calls made to the hotline no. 1323 had to do with football gambling. Almost half of these callers indicated gambling was having effects on their family. Debt burden was the second most-cited problem among inveterate football gamblers who called the hotline. Dr. Phanphimon said the family and debt issues had detrimental effects on the mind, putting the person at risk of stress, depression and suicide.

The doctor asserted gambling addiction was a type of impulse-control disorder and persons who find themselves displaying this behavior should call the hotline 1323, which operates around the clock.