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The whole city becomes frantic


Since early June, the World Cup was in the limelight of the city. The media were heavily covering it. Restaurants and shopping malls were advertising it to lure customers and the whole economy was being affected. It was alleged that the number of prospective home-buyers going to view their prospective homes were falling. People watched soccer-matches more than they went to view their prospective homes. In public places and in offices, there always must be some-one talking on the World Cup. However many people not only were concerned with which team would win, they were more concerned if their bets on the match would win.


World Cup gambling Syndrome and addicted gambling


During the World Cup period, many soccer-fans and non-soccer-fans participated in the gamble. The whole city was frantic with match after match, engendering the World Cup gambling syndrome causing a chain effect on addicted gambling.


1. Messing up of work and rest; looking languid

This year's World Cup was held in Germany. People in Hong Kong must watch the matches at night. In the week of finals, events were held too frequently. Three matches were held daily at night and at small hours. To watch the matches, one must sacrifice or change the time of their sleep.


This affected the usual biological clock, and made it difficult to get to sleep even though when one was very sleepy. Without sufficient sleep, how could you work efficiently? Moreover, this was not a matter of one or two days. The first round of frequent matches stretched over two weeks, followed by further matches late at night. Gamblers not only kept watching the results, they even engaged in studying the odds and the merits of the soccer teams. They alighted half-way to place their bets, wasting a lot of labour and thus looking languid.


2. Getting excited with more talking points

Before the kicking off of the World Cup, soccer-fans already overjoyfully bought the attires of their favourite teams. Soccer-fans were of-course overjoyed at the once in four years grand occasion when they could talk about it with people around them. Soccer-gamblers were also frantic, they discussed with whomever they met the results and analyses of previous matches, the performance of soccer-stars, the ruling of referees, the winning and losing of their bets, the forecast of the matches that followed, and their betting skills. When they had won, they were even more excited, and easily went into the winning stage of addicted gambling, during which time these gamblers bet only casually and would win on occasions. However, as they began getting the excitement from gambling, they gradually gambled more frequently and up their stakes, thinking they would continue to win. From my working experience, gamblers with ten thousand dollars pay a month would bet five thousand dollars on a single soccer-match. People might be surprised. However the gambler did not see any problem, because they never thought they would lose.


3. Not in the mood for work and upping the stakes

After losing money, gamblers were not in the mood for work, and they were unreconciled and wanted to win back what they had lost. So they gambled with even higher stakes, and betting on the team less likely to win but would pay a higher dividend. Thus their chances to win were even slimmer. Don't think winning money would not influence their work. When they won a fortune, they would look down on their hard-earned meager salary. So they would also be in no mood for work after winning, but would rack their brain how to win through gambling. At this stage they were entering the Losing Stage of addicted gambling. They were already obsessed with gambling. They would continue to lose money, and would lose their jobs and even borrow money to gamble. Let's look back on the World Cup this year. From the quarter-final week to the 16-power matches, the winning teams were all favourites. Therefore at the beginning of the 8-power matches, many gamblers were still winning. They thought they could control their gambling behaviour and were not alert against addiction.


4. Depressed and easy to lose temper

As events of the World Cup passed day after day, soccer-fans went without sleep every night. The results of the matches concerned not only individual's liking and foresight., but also had an influence on the amount of money in their pockets, or even if their debts could be paid off, or if they could still afford their house-keeping. Their mood went up and down according to the results of the matches. Without enough sleep, and with their favourite team/s defeated, their money lost, they became depressed and easily lost their temper.


Whether to re-taste the sweets of winning money, or to win back what has been lost, or to pay off the debts, they will keep on gambling even if the World Cup is over. They will bet on other matches, for example the 4 leagues of Europe, because they have already become addicted. They will only spend more time on gambling, gradually alienating their relatives and friends, or having reputation damaged because of insolvency. At this moment, they are going towards the Despairing Stage in addicted gambling. As time goes by, they will collapse, or even attempt suicide. In the end, they have entered the Surrendering Stage in addicted gambling.


Seize the crux, rebuild a new life


When I am writing this article, the eight powers are competing for the World Cup. Up to this very moment, most winning teams are favourites, so most punters are still winning. Many gamblers who are in the course of quitting gambling, unable to resist the frantic air, keep on betting. If any of your relatives or friends is in the winning stage, you must not take it lightly, beware of their getting addicted. If you find yourself or any of your relatives or friends is already addicted to gambling, please seek help soonest from counselling centres to avoid getting mired deeper and deep.


"Watching soccer-matches without betting gives you more fun."


Hotline for counselling against gambling : 1834633

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