Gaming Safe Initiative Commences Schoolbased Sensitization Program Against Underage Gambling
Gaming Safe (GamSafe) Initiative, kicks off schoolbased sensitization program against underage gambling for secondary schools in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The event which was held at the council’s headquarters Ozubulu on the 29th of June, attracted over twenty schools in the LGA. Parents, teachers and youths were also in attendance.
Addressing the students, the council boss, Mr Chimezie Obi charged them to avoid any form of gambling which he described as the worst thing that can happen to a young individual.
Mr Obi said the Anambra State Government frowns against betting of any sort, stating that the Council Area has already begun apprehending minors who are seen in gaming centres while sanctioning betting centres who allow minors and school children to participate in gaming.
On her part, the founder, Gamsafe Initiative, Barr. Immaculata Amaka Mbaso said the programme targets school children in order to prevent them from the adverse effects of gambling.
Barr. Mbaso who stated that gambling causes the highest rate of suicide compared to other addictions, lamented that people have mistaken gaming which is meant to be a source of entertainment to being a source of income.
She pointed out that most young people and affluent individuals have gone bankrupt as a result of gambling.
She also said that the Initiative intends to go round the whole council areas in Anambra State and proceed to other states from there. However, she expressed the view that the Initiative needs supports from government (s) regulators, organisations, and individuals for more effective and wider reaching impact.
The speakers at the event were, Mr. Ramsey Nwafor, Zonal head, Monitoring & Enforcement National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Hon. Amb. Chibuzo Patrick Osigwe, CEO/Founder Meljenstin Youth Empowerment Initiative, Dr. Ngozi Oguejiofor, Lecturer, Entrepreneur studies Anambra State University Igbariam, Lynda Aniebonam (Ferdinand) Regd Nurse and Mental health counsellor and Chika Chukwudozie, Chairperson, Nigerian Union of Teachers, Ekwusigo LGA.
The speakers spoke on different areas, Correlation between gambling and other addictive activities like drugs, gambling and mental health, Emotional Intelligence amongst others.
Mr. Nwafor cautioned students and pointed out that gaming is a game of chance as only 0.5 percent of those who participate in it actually wins.
They highlighted the dangers of gambling to include addiction, mental instability, depression, isolation and suicide while cautioning gaming centres to desist from operating around primary and secondary school.
GamSafe Initiative is an organization working to raise awareness, educate people about the potential harmful effects of problem gambling and advocate for better policies to safeguard young and vulnerable persons from developing gaming/gambling related harms.