ADDICTIVE: Women’s gambling frequently centres around activities that require little strategy, like slot machines or Bingo, which trap them in a cycle of 
problem gambling, says the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation.
Cape Town - South African women who are problem gamblers are faced with negative health issues as a result of their addiction.

More than 50% of South African women gamble.

The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation said gambling addiction takes a shorter time to set in among women, as compared to their male counterparts.

Heidi Sinclair, treatment and counselling manager at the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation, said many female gamblers experience anxiety. 

"This is typical of the condition, which is most often accompanied by other disorders. But while this may take the form of psychological issues with women, male gamblers usually often present with alcoholism or drug addiction."

She said men were more likely to participate in several forms of gambling and are usually willing to spend more on their gambling.

"In contrast women's gambling frequently centres around activities that require little strategy, like slot machines or Bingo and it's these activities that may trap them in a cycle of problem gambling. While gambling negatively affects one's finances, problem gamblers may present other conditions ranging from tachycardia to angina, cirrhosis and other liver disease."

An anonymous female gambler started visiting casinos to escape from pressures of a new job and financial stress. In the two years that she grappled with her addiction she won only R17 000.

"It was found that the typical illegal online gambler in South Africa can be described as middle-income young South African and their main motivation to gamble is fuelled by desire to boost their income."

Contact the foundation for more information. If you or any of your family members feel you may have a gambling problem, contact the foundation for free counselling and advice. Call Toll Free: 0800 006008

[email protected]

Cape Argus