COM223e Writing for Strategic Communication
The Singapore Government’s recent decision to make online betting legal, by allowing Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club to operate online betting services, has made news.
The issue has been debated in parliament, and lead to concerns being raised by religious bodies and individuals alike. Many feel that allowing online betting, albeit under strict conditions, could potentially result in more, especially younger, people getting hooked on online gambling.
Youth problem gambling has always been a contentious issue for concerned Singaporeans, with many letters exchanged on this topic in the local press. An example is the following letter by Francis Cheng Choon Fei, published in the Voices section of TODAYonline on 11 February 2015.
Tackling Youth Problem Gambling Starts With The Parents
While I applaud the efforts to discourage gambling, the authorities alone cannot stop youth problem gambling (“Hard-core gamblers down, but ‘still a worry’”; February 06, 2016).
Though laws have been implemented to act as a curb, tech-savvy youngsters can always find ways to circumvent the blocks.
This fight has got to start with parents being role models when their children are young. Curious children learn fast when parents gamble, even for fun. They then discuss gambling with their peers and one thing leads to another.
For example, it is common for families, even children, to gamble during Chinese New Year. At Chinese wakes, mah-jong tables are set up, and children are free to linger and observe.
Such leisure gambling may seem harmless to parents, but children may take it differently and perceive it as a quick chance to make money.
Many things shape the choices a child will make about gambling and whether he grows up to become a gambler.
When children play non-cash online games of chance, for example, they are encouraged to pick up other games of chance, as they would see gambling as fun, challenging and a
COM223e Tutor-Marked Assignment 1-2 January 2017 Semester
SIM UNIVERSITY Page 5 of 9
natural part of what they have done since young.
To them, gambling is also a visible activity when their parents organise mah-jong sessions at home, make informal bets with family or friends, or even play games of skill such as darts for petty money.
Children look to their parents as an example, so the latter must always be clear about their values and think about the spoken and unspoken messages they give to their children about gambling.
It is important that parents are able to evaluate whether their children are gambling. Some youth may not know that online betting is illegal to protect minors.
Francis Cheng Choon Fei
Assume that you are a reader of TODAYonline and wish to add your perspective on this hotly-contested issue. Formulate your arguments, and apply the concepts and techniques of rhetoric and persuasion to demonstrate your competence in persuasive writing.
Write a letter to the Voices section of TODAYonline that lays out your stance on this issue. Accordingly, in your letter, you need to discuss the issues and identify your stand either for or against the argument that tackling the problem of youth gambling starts with parents’ responsibility.
The letter you develop should not exceed 800 words, excluding reference
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