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Gambling Awareness Week

Fri, May 22, 11:50pm by Kevin Pitstock

Gambling addiction is as serious an addiction as any other and the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Tasmania seeks to address exactly this problem, but with a twist.

It is believed that it is 10 times more likely that those who work in the gambling and gaming industry will develop problems related to gambling. Keeping this in mind the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Tasmania has chosen to particularly focus on gambling staff for the event.

The awareness week was inaugurated and launched by Human Services Minister, Lin Thorp. The Minister said the State Government of Tasmania is enthusiastically backing and supporting the awareness week, which has been running for the last four years.

The aim of the week is self explanatory in the name – “Awareness”. The task is to educate gamblers and potential gamblers as well as promote safer gambling practices. The theme of this year’s event is: Know Where To Run When The Bets Are No Longer Fun. Thorp said the theme was meant to be a message to gamblers and gambling staff that they always have access to support if they do need help.

An Australian study about workplaces was conducted to learn more about the influence the workplace has on employees. It was during this survey that it was found that gambling industry workers are more easily prone to developing gambling problems. This is due to the fact that gaming venue staff are excessively exposed to the various activities of gambling and the gambling culture. In addition, they also receive several product benefits and incentives which makes it harder to forego gambling.

The Tasmanian government spends about $750,000 every year treating people affected by gambling problems and addictions. However, Thorp said there continued to be a stigma attached to seeking help for these problems and as a result almost 90 per cent of the gamblers still did not seek help and these awareness weeks seek to close the gap and make support services more easily accessible and approachable so they are effective in the long run.

The Tasmanian gambling helpline is open 24 hours every day of the year. Freecall: 1800 858 858.

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