The NSW Government will invest a record $100 million to minimise the harm of gambling as GambleAware Week kicks off across the state.
The Minns Labor Government has announced it will focus on learning the true cost of gambling on communities, which extends beyond dollars spent.
The new campaign will look into several financial and mental health impacts that affect gamblers, including time away from home and loved ones, financial stress, impacts on physical wellbeing and increased mental health implications.
The money to be spent on the campaign comes from the hefty $100 million fine imposed on Star Casino by the NSW Independent Casino Commission in October 2022 following the gambling venue’s breach in allowing private room money laundering.
Several initiatives as part of the investment will be introduced across the next five years and include:
- $6.4 million to enhance self-exclusion and introduce third-party exclusions in pubs and clubs
- $3.4 million for the independent panel, established in July this year, to run and evaluate a cashless gaming trial in pubs and clubs, with expressions of interest recently called for venues to take part
- $21.7 million each year, for three years, from 2024-2025 to fund other gambling harm minimisation initiatives and reforms, including those recommended by the independent panel
- $10 million additional investment in 2023 for the Responsible Gambling Fund, through the Office of Responsible Gambling, for the provision of GambleAware counselling and support services.
Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said he was encouraging everyone to talk to their friends, family and colleagues about the potential risks that gambling could be costing them and their loved ones.
“We know there are people out there experiencing gambling harm in our community, and we are concerned about the impact this has on individuals, their families and the broader community,” he said.
“We are committed to increasing awareness of the risks of gambling, in all forms, and I can assure people there is a lot of help and support out there in NSW communities that is freely available and accessible.
“Our first budget delivers $100 million in harm-minimisation initiatives, including funding for the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling to provide support to people affected by gambling harm through these GambleAware services, as well as working to prevent harm before it occurs by investing in education and awareness-raising.”
Mr Harris said everyone had a role to play in keeping our community safe and he encouraged the public to take part in GambleAware Week to show their combined commitment to preventing gambling harm.
“One of our key election commitments was to ban external gambling signage from venues, as we know that can be triggering for gamblers, and that ban is in place as of 1 September this year, with 99 per cent of venues compliant. It shows that when government, industry and community work together, we can get positive results.”
Original Article published by Jarryd Rowley on Region Riverina.