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National Gambling Board

South African Responsible Gambling Foundation

Concept of the Handbook

Peter Collins conceived the idea of a “gambling handbook”; this would constitute a gambling mini-encyclopaedia, covering all aspects of gambling ranging from the theory of games of chance to the running of a casino to the issue of detecting and treating problem gambling and the associated problems of debt and poor money management. In addition, from an educational perspective, he saw that it would be valuable for readers to be able to draw links between topics in gambling to teaching material on allied subjects, notably mathematics and probability which link to the theory of games as well as issues like saving, finance and business operation from the money management side. The development of this website is ongoing. We invite suggestions for its improvement and extension.

The contents of this website were designed, written and edited by Graham Barr, ably supported by Beth Maclagan, a researcher and materials developer for junior and senior schools as well as for adult education. The various Flash simulation programs were conceived and designed by Graham Barr and expertly programmed by Dr John Schoonbee. The various workshop presentation material was written by Graham Barr and skilfully presented in PowerPoint format by Dr John Schoonbee. Many thanks to for helping with the design of the site, and for his expert technical guidance and support.

Peter CollinsProfessor Peter Collins is executive director of the South African National Responsible Gambling Programme which, with Sun International and the late Kerry Capstick-Dale, he co-founded a little over 10 years ago. He is also Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Centre for the Study of Gambling at the University of Salford in the UK since 2000. He is currently the African representative in a working group of eight academics from around the world, including Howard Shaffer of the Harvard Medical School Division of Addictions, Alex Blasczinski from Australia, Robert Ladouceur from Canada, Davis Fong from Macao, who are seeking to identify essential ingredients for responsible gambling programmes around the world. He has also been an official and unofficial advisor to the UK government on gambling matters over the last 10 years.

Graham BarrProfessor Graham Barr is a professor in the department of Statistical Sciences and Economics at UCT. He holds a BA and BSc with majors in Mathematics, Statistics and Economics with six class medals and distinctions in all majors, a first class Honours degree in Mathematical Statistics, a Masters degree in Econometrics and a PhD, all from UCT. His research is in the areas of quantitative analysis, econometrics and the theory of games and he has published seventy articles in these fields in international and local journals. He has consulted widely in the public and private sectors in the area of quantitative analysis and economic model building. Graham was a member of the original national academic team set up in 1995, and the forerunner of the National Centre for the Study of Gambling, which studied the optimal number and location of casinos in post-apartheid South Africa. He constructed computer models of optimal casino locations and casino profitability as a basis for determining the optimal number of casinos in each province and their expected profitability. He is also an expert on the statistical theory of games of chance and has designed games for slot machines.