Workshops cover gambling harm for seniors

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Workshops cover gambling harm for seniors

A Victorian council has launched a new set of workshops for seniors and people who work with seniors to brainstorm a future free from gambling harm.

Mirage News reports that Wyndham City has partnered with Gambler’s Help and IPC Health to facilitate the Stepping Out workshops.

They are intended for seniors who live, work or recreate in Wyndham, as well as any service providers, social activity planners or volunteers who work or plan activities for seniors.

The workshops aim to build stronger social connections for older people, free from gambling harm, by encouraging seniors in Wyndham to consider alternate venues and activities for recreation.

The workshops are tailored towards participants’ accessibility requirements, using in-language interpreters for online and in-person workshops, hearing loops for in-person workshops and any other adjustments required to suit participants’ level of ability.

Interested participants can sign up as an individual, group or workplace.

Community Safety Portfolio Holder Cr Susan McIntyre said council is committed to protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of all Wyndham residents by preventing the harms associated with gambling.

“Half of the Australian adult population for non-gambling activities like to have a meal, catch up with friends or participate in sport and recreation activities.”

“Evidence shows that during such visits, they will spend some time playing electronic gaming machines.

“These workshops aim to educate seniors and those who work with seniors about gambling harm and to discover gambling free venues and activities for recreation in Wyndham.

“We are focussed on promoting a healthy social life for seniors, free from gambling harm and to support our communities in Wyndham to make choices to participate in gambling-free activities.

“We encourage all seniors and people who work with seniors to register for a workshop, to help create a future free from gambling harm.”

Workshops start in March and take place until August.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are capped at 15 people.

Future of Tasmanian gambling outlined in government policy

A Tasmanian government gambling policy has left stakeholders concerned, a new report revealed.

The Examiner reported in early February that the Tasmanian government’s future gaming policy proposed limiting the number of pokie machines in the state at 2350, creating individual licences for hotels and clubs.

It also allows for two “high-roller” casino licences, tenders the monitoring of the gaming industry and proposes to adjust how profits from the machines are distributed.

Since 2003, a portion of the profit made from the machines, as well as licensing fees, has gone to a Community Support Levy.

The levy pool funds and dispenses them across charitable organisations, aimed at gambling harm minimisation.

That portion has been four per cent of monthly gross profits.

The new proposal has this increasing to five per cent from pubs, four per cent from clubs and extending the payment to casinos, who would contribute three per cent.

Currently, the legislation requires the government to sanction a social and economic report on the impact of gambling every three years.

The proposed legislation changes the time frame to five years.

Submissions to the consultation paper were released on Monday and revealed where concerned parties sat regarding the issue.

Sixty-eight submissions were received regarding the proposed changes to gambling legislation, with 73.5 per cent supporting the changes, but 46 submissions from hotel and club operators established a theme that those operators were happy with the changes.

Twelve submissions rejected the proposed government policy on grounds of lacking harm minimisation, lacking scope to react to social and economic impacts and suggesting all poker machine owners contribute five per cent to the Community Support Levy.

There were wide ranging concerns about the reforms suggestion to grant 20-year licences for the machines, with debates of granting them for perpetuity or setting a future date for them to be reviewed.

Nelson Independent MLC Meg Webb made a comprehensive 22-page submission outlining her concerns and questions regarding the policy.

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