RISE IN NUMBER OF PROBLEM PUNTERS
With the start of the World Cup, hotlines that help gambling addicts will be ringing more frequently, said a National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) spokesman.
"Traditionally, calls to the helpline tend to increase during certain seasons, such as the festive and soccer seasons.
"We know that gambling tends to intensify during specific seasons, and take this into account in our public education efforts," the spokesman said.
He said problem-gambling cases involving football betting span different age groups and profiles.
While NCPG does not track cases related specifically to football betting, it receives an average of 21,000 calls a year.
Mr Billy Lee, a counsellor at the Gamblers Recovery Centre, noted an increase in the number of people going to the centre because of online football betting.
He warned recovering addicts to resist the temptation to bet during this World Cup.
"If possible, avoid the matches altogether. You may not bet on the first few matches but over time, you may start to feel that your predictions are accurate and try your luck again," he said.
BY THE NUMBERS
Number of people arrested for illegal gambling and betting activities:
SOURCE: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE