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Singapore Government

Statistics on problem gamblers

Statistics on problem gamblers


Mr Chen Show Mao
MP for Aljunied GRC 

To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development for each year from 2006 to 2015: 
(a) what has been the average spending by problem gamblers; and
(b) what has been the respective percentage of the aggregate number of problem gamblers according to their household income deciles.
Written Answer
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) commissions the Survey on Participation in Gambling Activities among Singapore Residents every three years. The survey includes screening questions to detect probable pathological gamblers, based on diagnostic criteria in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) developed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The same diagnostic criteria have been used in similar studies in Hong Kong, Macau and the United States. As the survey is conducted via face-to-face interviews, the screening questions only capture the respondents’ self-professed behaviour and do not represent a clinical assessment of actual gambling disorders.
Based on the latest survey in 2014, the proportion of respondents classified as probable pathological gamblers is 0.2%, compared to 2.1% in 2005, 1.2% in 2008 and 1.4% in 2011.
The average monthly betting amount among probable pathological gamblers was $313 in 2014. This has decreased from the average monthly betting amount of $637 in 2005, $619 in 2008 and $1,713 in 2011.
The surveys collected information on monthly personal income by income brackets, instead of the monthly household income. The probable pathological gambling rate by monthly personal income brackets is shown in Table A.
Table A: Prevalence of Probable Pathological Gambling By Personal Income
Personal Income   2005 2008  2011  2014 
 No Income 0.5% 0.8%  0.8%  0.1%
 $1 - $999 0.7% 0% 0.5% 0%
 $1,000 - $1,999 2.1% 2.3% 1.5%  0.4%
 $2,000 - $2,999 4.2% 2.1% 1.9% 0.2%
 $3,000 - $3,999 5.9% 1.1% 1.4% 0.6%
 $4,000 and above 4.7% 0% 1.7%  0%

While the probable pathological gambling rate has dropped in 2014, we cannot be complacent and will continue to monitor the trends in future runs of the survey.
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