/ 22 February 2023

How SARGF promotes responsible gambling tools like GamStop in South Africa

Sargf Gambling

SARGF seeks to promote certain beneficial behaviours that can give a person a feeling of relief and help them get out of a possible ludomania-related crisis

When someone talks about the activity carried out by a nonprofit organisation such as the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation (SARGF), many doubts and misunderstandings arise. What kind of work does it do? What are its unique features? The good news is that understanding what SARGF is and what it is all about is much easier than it might seem at first glance, not least because it has been committed to responsible gaming in South Africa for years.

Read on to better understand what SARGF is, how it operates, and its working methods.

What does SARGF do?

SARGF aims to promote responsible gambling in South Africa, a country where players tend to be prone to irresponsible gambling. It seeks to improve the situation by offering gamblers several valuable tools to curb the development of gambling addiction and promote beneficial behaviours such as greater self-control, sticking to one’s budget, and spotting the signs that indicate the presence of a problem.

Many of the activities promoted by SARGF are for informational purposes. They allow players to benefit from better knowledge of the various peculiarities of the sector and provide the possibility of avoiding the usual “traps” which eventually could considerably worsen a player’s life.

SARGF methods of responsible gambling promotion

Like other similar organisations, SARGF seeks to promote certain beneficial behaviours that can give a person a feeling of relief and help them get out of a possible ludomania-related crisis. What are these possibilities?

Promotion of self-exclusion

Among the various solutions offered by this organisation, a prominent role is played by promoting and disseminating behaviours that seek to limit gaming through self-exclusion. For example, self-exclusion attitudes are encouraged, in which the gambler excludes himself from gambling for a certain period. Alternatively, SARGF also promotes exclusion tools such as GamStop. 

GamStop is a national self-exclusion programme in the United Kingdom. Every player can join it after a simple registration procedure and choose an exclusion period from six months to five years. As many UK casino sites cooperate with this scheme, they will become unavailable for the player after the registration. Obviously, GamStop does not block all online casinos – there are still various non GamStop NGB platforms where UK players are allowed – so you will always have a way to continue your gambling adventure. But, as the years go by, many players can confirm that this programme is helpful, and the numbers of active users confirm it.

Thanks to these solutions provided by the company, players may realise they have a problem and try to remedy it. Alternatively, they can resort to more abrupt and, at first glance, even more complex solutions. One of these concerns is exclusion software, which is used by family members and does not allow access to the gaming platform. Other options include approaching the operator of the gambling platform and requesting that the player’s access be restricted indefinitely.

What we said does not mean the player cannot still play, because ways around the limits can still be found. But it is a good brake, allowing the problem to be remedied before it can escalate so much that it is no longer easy to eliminate.

Spreading awareness about unhealthy gambling

SARGF has an information campaign, which aims to bring awareness to the risks of unhealthy gambling. For several years now, SARGF professionals have been trying to inform potential gamblers about the problems they might face if they decide to gamble without following the recommendations for responsible gambling tools in Africa, which increases the percentage of those who become aware of their actions and the risks of gambling.

Training gambling industry employees

Finally, another noteworthy activity stands out: training employees working in the gambling industry, an action often ignored by other similar agencies, but whose importance is crucial. A great deal depends on the training of gambling employees and their willingness to be transparent in their work with customers. 

Thanks to their commitment, the number of gamblers with addiction problems can be reduced. Training is carried out across the board, teaching employees of gambling companies how to talk to customers, understand their needs, feel their cravings, and identify the most problematic cases. Much attention is also paid to methodologies useful in treating gambling addiction.

Counselling and treatment

In addition, there is another crucial service: the SARGF professionals try to help players directly through counselling and treatment. Whoever contacts the SARGF support team will receive professional assistance from the company’s experts, as well as valuable information about applications that help you with self-exclusion or information about how to get away from gambling, at least temporarily, or how to change one’s approach to gambling to become more responsible. 

The SARGF team can help people on their path to treatment for gambling addiction. To achieve this, SARGF professionals use customised treatment paths extensively, designed according to the person’s needs. Group sessions are also organised, where people affected by problem gambling can talk to other gamblers, explain their problems, be listened to, and find a solution to their problems. Psychological therapies are conducted by experts with extensive experience that are a valuable aid in the treatment of ludomania.


Other activities could be added to these, including training pupils and students through the National Schools Programme. However, those indicated are the essential activities that have led to a considerable decrease in addicted gamblers throughout the country.