Monday 24 July
Centacare NQ has announced its partnership with sport star Matt Scott to raise awareness of responsible gambling across the Townsville and North West region.
The announcement came on the first day of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) held nationally from 24 to 30 July, which asks the community, “Is your gambling getting out of hand?”
The new partnership is one element of a larger community awareness campaign focused on supporting problem gamblers know free and confidential support is available to them and their family to get back on track.
Executive Director of Centacare North Queensland Peter Monaghan said the partnership played a crucial role in reaching everyone in the community from young sports fans to those young at heart, to understand what it means to gamble responsibly.
“More than $100 million* was spent on pokies in Townsville and the North West Region in 2016, which doesn’t include figures from online betting, so it could be considerably higher.
“Partnering with Matt is one way we encourage friends, family, parents, teachers, sporting coaches and everyone in the community to start a conversation and be informed about the practical ways to gamble and minimise harm,” he said.
Centacare North Queensland Gambling Help Ambassador Matt Scott said he looked forward to championing the responsible gambling message to help the local community.
“There is no denying gambling is a part of our society and it can be fun to do with mates on the weekend, but when it starts getting out of hand and having a larger impact on your life and relationships, it’s knowing that free and confidential help is available and can really work.
“Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness or that anything is necessarily wrong, but a good opportunity to learn strategies around how to manage your gambling better before it destroys your life on a grand scale,” he said.
Centacare NQ’s campaign also takes a practical approach with the distribution of Wallet Mates to clubs and venues.
Gambling Help Program Manager Rebecca Brown said the Wallet Mates serve as a reminder for people to replace their credit or debit cards in their wallet to limit spending.
“Wallet Mates are a subtle yet very practical way we’re helping problem gamblers to limit their spending habits for gambling.
“If they have reached their spending limit, the card works to remind them not to go to the ATM or spend more and to call us instead.”
The campaign is supported by a range of free online resources including a downloadable self-help eBook “Beat The Odds Against Gambling” offering tools and tips on how to gamble responsibly, plus strategies on how to cut back to regain control. The free guide is available at www.centacarenq.org.au/gambling.
Centacare NQ’s Gambling Help program is a Queensland Government initiative.
*$96 million was spent on Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM) in Townsville in the 2016 calendar year. $24.5 million was spent on EGM in Mount Isa and Cloncurry in the same period.
For further information or media interviews please contact the Marketing & Communications Team on 4772 9000.