As National Responsible Gambling Awareness Month unfolds in November, the Hollywood Foundation is intensifying its commitment to promoting awareness and providing education on responsible gambling. This dedication goes beyond mere observance of the month; it represents a sustained and proactive effort to address the complex issues surrounding gambling.
The Foundation’s activities during this month include a series of educational campaigns, community outreach programs, and collaborations aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of responsible gambling practices. These efforts are critical in a society where gambling is a prevalent activity and the need for informed and conscious participation is ever-increasing.
In recognition of this important month, the Hollywood Foundation is collaborating again with the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation (SARGF). As reported earlier in the month, the organisation has carried out responsible gambling outreach programs at various gambling and betting venues in Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
This partnership focuses on tackling underage gambling through a school program led by SARGF. The initiative reflects a proactive approach to addressing gambling issues among the younger population.
Extensive Educational Outreach
The program, spearheaded by SARGF, will reach out to 65 schools across all nine provinces in South Africa. This extensive coverage ensures a broad impact, spreading responsible gambling messages to diverse communities. Alongside this, the program will sponsor two counsellors for a year, offering daily support to individuals grappling with gambling-related challenges.
Vuyisile Ngobese, Hollywood Foundation’s Public Relations Officer, emphasises the importance of the initiatives under SARGF’s National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP). “We are proud to stand alongside the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation in our collective mission. Through the National Responsible Gambling Programme, we are affirming our commitment to empowering community members.”, Ngobese states.
Role of the Counselors
The counsellors, supported by the Hollywood Foundation, play a critical role. They are tasked with advocating for responsible gambling and providing expert, confidential, and cost-free assistance. Their services include:
- Conducting initial assessments.
- Connecting individuals with treatment professionals.
- Evaluating and implementing treatment options.
Sibongile Simelane-Quntana, Executive Director of SARGF, expresses gratitude for the Hollywood Foundation’s proactive involvement. “The contribution made by the Hollywood Foundation is a first of its kind and will go a long way in the NRGP’s quest to educate, prevent, treat, and provide counselling to South Africans impacted by the potential harmful effects of disorder gambling,” she notes.