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The Illawarra is making drastic efforts to conquer issues with problem gambling. As part of the Responsible Gaming Awareness Week, a new initiative was given funding of $50 000 where 20 previous problem gamblers were trained in public speaking.
To raise awareness these individuals have been speaking at conferences and out in public on the issue with a focus on their own personal experience. According to the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, the stigma that is attached to problem gambling is a leading cause. Problem gamblers are unable to confide their issue due to shame.
By raising awareness, it is exposing the problem as something which can be helped through many different avenues.
Gaming and Promotions Executive at Steelers Club of Wollongong, Graham Crittenden said “It is not easy to pick someone who has a problem with gambling. Often they will try to hide the issue, though there are many options for people in need.”
A high percentage of problem gamblers hide their addiction by lying about their whereabouts. They are also often in denial which is why it is not possible to determine whether another is a ‘problem gambler.’
Clubs provide a self-exclusion program for individuals where they ban themselves from a venue. State gambling-prevalence surveys have reported that approximately 31%-61% of problem gamblers have utilised this service.
Crittenden said “Our club has found that the program is effective for certain individuals though the issue is that it only excludes them from the one venue.”
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing is constantly assessing what can be done in order to deal with the issue. As stated by Crittenden, “Understanding the problem is the first step.”
If you are showing symptoms which have been described in this article, visit http://www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/
If you want more information about problem gambling, visit