Gambling is a recreational past-time that many Australians have participated in. It can be an enjoyable past time but for some it can also create hardship. Gaming Clubs are very conscious of providing an environment that provides a responsible environment for club members and their guests. Clubs for instance subscribe to various regulations that support responsible gaming and provide help for members and their guests when required.
The decision to gamble lies with the individual and represents a choice based on an individual’s circumstances. Clubs recognise that to make a choice responsibly, club members need to be informed about gambling products along with services and support available to them should they seek help with their gambling.
Gamblers Help - 1800 858 858
To access help for people or families dealing with problems associated with gambling, contact Gamblers Help on the free call number 1800 858 858. Online counselling is also available with free and immediate access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to a qualified gambling counsellor. Callers can choose to talk to an online counsellor anonymously. Alternatively visit the website www.gamblinghelponline.org.au to understand the resources available and how to access them.
People with gambling problems often have mental health, addiction and relationship issues and may visit a range of health and welfare professionals before they tackle their gambling. Problem gambling is often a factor within a complex array of interpersonal, intrapersonal and health issues that may be experienced by your client. Typically, problem gambling is hidden and does not occur in isolation. It may arise from (and give rise to) a range of other co-presenting and co-morbid issues. For example:
- problem gamblers are at least 18 times more likely to have a severe mental health disorder when compared with non-problem gamblers
- between half and three-quarters of problem gamblers have been found to have co-occurring alcohol issues with the prevalence of problem gambling increasing as the weekly units of alcohol consumed increases.
- there are more than 1600 gambling-related divorces in Australian each year
- the children of problem gamblers are more likely to demonstrate a range of physical, psychological and behavioural problems, and are twice as likely as their contemporaries to attempt suicide.
People with gambling problems report feelings of shame and guilt. The website may be a useful resource for health professionals and their clients in normalising their experience and providing a less confronting entry point into thinking about change. The service provides live counselling and anonymous and confidential email support from qualified, experienced gambling counsellors. It is useful for anyone who may be geographically isolated, unable to access face-to-face counselling services, or for those who may feel embarrassed to seek help. Gambling Help Online also assists family and friends of gamblers.
Gambling Help Online complements existing face-to-face counseling initiatives. The 24/7 free, confidential Gambler’s Help line 1800 858 858 has also attracted a new cohort of help seekers not currently willing or able to use existing services.
This program is funded as part of an agreement between all State and Territory Governments and the Federal Government.
For statistical references please see http://www.professionals.problemgambling.vic.gov.au