Editorial, Gadgets

As many people enjoy the adventure of gambling, the industry must be regulated to protect consumers and minimize social harm.

Lawmakers are making strides to regulate the activities of gambling companies in the country. This is a good move, as the explosion of casinos and online gambling sites have increased with risks.

In Juba and other urban centers in the country, many people struggle with gambling addiction, which can lead to financial ruin and other serious evils associated with the game.

Many, yet productive youth engage in and are addicted to gambling, yet these companies do nothing to either mitigate or help those unable to control their behavior.

Regulation is needed to restrict underage children from gambling.

Money spent on gambling is largely a transfer of wealth from players to the industry, if not “from the poor to the rich”, without return benefit. This is uneconomical utilization of resources which at times renders the spender penniless.

It should be noted that gambling expansion leads to increase in bankruptcies, crimes and social problems. Those who lose money are likely to face financial hardship, debt and family issues including domestic violence.

The largely unregulated industry has grown to a scale that poses real risks to individuals and society. Reasonable regulation is needed to limit these social harms while preserving consumer choice.

Lawmakers must ensure consumer protections are in place, and that the industry growth does not come at the expense of the vulnerable.

Responsible regulation, not prohibition, is the sensible middle ground.

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