What does Henry Quek's $26 million gambling loss teach us?

Henry Quek, one of Singapore's biggest seafood distributors, loses $26 million by gambling in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). If you are a compulsive gambler, please seek help.

Recently, one of Singapore's largest distributors of seafood, Henry Quek, lost over $26 million in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). He went on a gambling spree for three days early June. Friends say that he had actually lost more but managed to recuperate a small amount.

While legalized gambling is said to boost economic growth and increase tax revenue, it often causes crime rates to rise. The large amounts of money involved make casinos a desirable target for organized crimes like money laundering to flourish.

The individual gambler is also affected as gambling may become addictive. Many gamblers become bankrupt as a result of excessive gambling. In the United States, the average compulsive gambler has debts exceeding US$80,000. Incurring bad debts not only causes financial problems for the gambler and his family, it could also tear the family apart. Divorces are common when families are unable to settle their debts. This not only affects you and your spouse; your children are left distraught and alienated.

Are you or a family member a compulsive gambler? Do you find that you

  • cannot control the urge for gambling?
  • do things that you would never usually do like steal or loan money to gamble or take money that was meant for your children?
  • spend more and more time gambling rather than with your family and friends?
  • gamble no matter how you feel e.g. when you feel up or down, happy or depressed?
  • gamble even when your mind tells you that you cannot afford to lose that money?

If you are responsible for committing any of the above, you are a compulsive gambler. Compulsive gambling is an impulse-control disorder that can be treated. The first step to resolving your addiction for both yourself and your family's well-being is to accept that you have a gambling problem and seek help.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (http://www.ncpg.org.sg/) was set up in August 2005 to help problem gamblers. The general helpline is 1800-6-668-668

TheAsianParent team hopes you seek help as soon as possible to alleviate the harsh financial and social problems linked to compulsive gambling.

(Picture taken from here. - Straits Times)