GAMBLING AWARENESS WEEK A REMINDER THAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE
Gambling is fun for many Queenslanders – it’s a part of our lifestyle and is a great way to have fun with friends. Only when gambling becomes an issue that problems can occur. If you’re planning to gamble,
it’s important to be informed about ways to gamble without causing harm to yourself, your family and friends.
RESPONSIBLE Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) aims to educate Queenslanders about problem gambling and how it can be overcome. Held from 30 July to 5 August 2018, Responsible Gambling Awareness Week’s theme for this year is ‘How does your gambling stack up?” and aims to encourage gamblers to develop responsible gambling habits, as well as highlighting the support available to anyone who feels they may have a problem with gambling.
How big is gambling locally? Centacare North Queensland’s Gambling Help program manager Lucy Stephens said that over a 12 month period Townsville residents had spent over $114 million on gaming machines, Ingham over $4 million, Charters Towers over $4.7 million, and the Burdekin approx. $7 million.
“There is a lot of stigma attached to problem gambling, and seeking help is not an option for some. We want to encourage people to seek help where a gambling problem is identified, and we want to remind
family and friends affected by this problem that they, too, can see us for support,” Ms Stephens said.
The Centacare NQ’s Gambling Help service provides free and confidential counselling that can be accessed face-to-face or via telephone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or that there is anything ‘wrong’ it’s just a good opportunity to learn strategies around how to manage your gambling better before it gets out of hand. There are really easy and useful things Centacare can teach you to
take back control and is adapted to fit your situation. Counselling is also available for family and friends to learn how to cope and work through the problems. If gambling has stopped being fun for you, it may help to find out more about gambling and problem gambling. Get a better understanding of how gambling works, find out why people gamble and learn the signs of problem gambling.
Responsible gambling tips
The key to being a responsible gambler is to stay in control and remember that gambling is just a game. Here are the Queensland Government’s Top Tips for gamblers:
Gamble for the fun of it, not for the money.
Don’t gamble to escape stress or boredom.
Set yourself a limit and don’t exceed it.
Don’t chase your losses. Leave. Walk away.
Gamble only what you can afford to lose.
Never borrow money to gamble.
Stay in control and think of the people who need your support.
The Queensland Government has just launched their new Gambling Help website to coincide with Responsible Gambling Awareness Week. You can find out more about the tools and tactics you can use to prevent problem gambling by visiting gamblinghelpqld.org.au. The website has self-assessment tools, a downloadable self-help guide, a spend calculator and tips for getting your gambling under control.
Centacare NQ’s Gambling Help program is a Queensland Government initiative. For more information about Gambling Help and how Centacare North Queensland may be able to assist, please
call 1300 NQ CARE, or visit www.centacarenq.org.au.