The Gambling Authority is embarking on a study to ascertain the occurrence of gambling addiction in the country.
According to Gambling Authority Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thuli Johnson, the survey will focus on providing evidence of gambling in Botswana.
He explained this is in order to come up with effective education, prevention and treatment programme for those that have been affected by gambling addiction.
The study is in line with the Authority’s commitment to transforming Botswana’s economy through safe and responsible gaming.
While the industry is a global multi-billion sector, Johnson says gambling is potentially addictive.
As a stakeholder, Johnson says they have a responsibility to raise awareness about the bad effects of gambling.
“We must instill a sense of discipline among Batswana so that they become responsible gamblers,” he said, adding that if conducted irresponsibly, gambling can cause serious financial troubles or even worse, mental ailments.
Findings of the research will be shared with key stakeholders like the Ministry of Health and health practitioners, the regulator and Government.
The research will be rolled out nationally and the Authority has partnered with Statistics Botswana to guide it on the research methodology and develop the terms of reference.
“We want to comply with the highest research standards because we want the findings to be credible,” said Johnson.
The baseline study will be supervised by a Reference Group that is made up of members of the Excessive Gambling Prevention and Rehabilitation Committee and other stakeholders from Statistics Botswana, Ministry responsible for Lands and Housing, Ministry of Health and Wellness among others.