GambleAware Week kicks off on next Monday 18 October, coinciding with people making their way back to gaming venues.
The theme this year is ‘Let’s Talk Gambling’, and Natalie Wright, Director Office of Responsible Gambling, encourages everyone to think and talk about the impacts of gambling – on themselves, people they know, and our community.
“We’re all looking forward to reconnecting and with gaming rooms back open and the racing Spring Carnival in full-swing, we need to be on the lookout for signs that could flag gambling is an issue for ourselves, our friends or our loved ones,” Ms Wright said.
“For most people gambling is an occasional bit of fun, but for some it can become an issue, so being ready to have the conversation is really important.”
Ms Wright said that online gambling is also a challenge with a recent study released by Gambling Research Australia showing that online gambling has more than doubled in NSW in the past 10 years, jumping from 7.8% to 17.8%, and that younger men are the most likely to gamble online.
“When gambling moves online, it can be harder to spot the signs that someone may be in trouble,” Ms Wright said.
“As we start to reconnect, it’s important to think about all forms of gambling and be open to talking about it. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about gambling. Being gamble aware means knowing and spotting the signs before it becomes an issue.”
To mark GambleAware Week 2021, the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling has launched a podcast series, ‘Let’s Talk Gambling’, to get the conversation started.
Expert guests will drill into some tough topics including kids gaming and gambling, how to start a conversation with someone you’re worried about, and the impact of Covid-19 on gambling. The series will also include real stories from people sharing their own personal experiences with gambling harm.
“The ‘Let’s Talk Gambling’ podcast series is a great way for the community to learn about aspects of gambling that they might not think about, as well as the issues that worry them,” Ms Wright said.
“We hope that by starting these conversations we are helping people have conversations around gambling, whether that’s with friends, family, or even customers.
“We want to encourage people to reflect on the actions of those around them and feel confident to start talking about gambling if they think there is an issue.”
To access the ‘Let’s Talk Gambling’ podcast, head to https://www.gambleaware.nsw.gov.au/resources-and-education/gambleaware-week
The GambleAware phoneline 1800 858 858 is open 24 hours a day for anyone needing support. It is free and confidential.