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Web Shops Donate To Gambling Addict Fight

Bahamian web shops have donated $7,500 to Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS) to help finance the training of two clinicians in how to treat gambling disorders.

The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA), in a statement issued last night, said the donation was part of its extended partnership with the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) and the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre to building capacity in treating and preventing gambling disorders.

It added that the partnership would be similar to the Association’s May 2018 tie-up with Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre last May, which is designed to help screen, assess and treat persons who may be most at risk form web shop gaming. It is also intended to stop persons engaging in risky behaviour.

“We are pleased to provide funding support in the amount of $7,500 to up-skill two professional clinicians from GBHS to become internationally-certified in the area of treating persons with a gambling disorder,” the association said.

“The course will be done through the University of Minnesota Duluth Centre for Economic Development and North American Training Institute (NATI). The online courses are 60 hours, with supplemental on-campus workshop visitations.”

It added: “This initiative is fully aligned to the domestic gaming industry’s robust responsible gaming policy, whose programmes are now standardised across all operator members. The industry continues to work with our key industry partner stakeholders, like GBHS.

“Additionally, the BGOA recognises that in a highly-regulated environment, and in keeping with international best practices, it was obliged to ensure a safety net was not only put in place but broadened to help those patrons who may require professional intervention at no cost to them.

“We have also increased our awareness and educational campaign regarding encouraging persons to game responsibly, and to prevent individuals from becoming at risk when engaging in this form of entertainment.

The BGOA said it plans to hold several Responsible Gaming town hall meetings, and Addiction Awareness symposiums, in Eleuthera, Long Island, Andros, San Salvador and east and west Grand Bahama before year-end 2019.