From the OLGR

Victoria Thomson
Deputy Director General of Liquor, Gaming and Fair Trading

REDUCING HARMFUL GAMBLING A PRIORITY

It was great to see clubs across Queensland involved in Gambling Harm Awareness Week in July with venues and Gambling Help service (GHS) providers coming together to support all Queenslanders, particularly those most vulnerable, to gamble safely.

It provided a timely reminder of the importance of the relationship between venues and GHS providers.

Gambling Help Community Educator David McAnalen said venues play a vital role in connecting their patrons with GHS providers.

“Venues are incredibly important community partners for GHS providers to have, as they see more people with poor relationships with gambling each day than the GHS does,” Mr McAnalen said.

To help minimise gambling harm, it is important that your staff are aware of their local GHS provider, the free and confidential services provided and how they can successfully refer any at-risk patrons.

Venue managers should also maintain regular, meaningful contact with their local GHS provider.

One of the services offered by GHSs is free support provided directly to venues. This includes employee professional development such as training on how to identify the signs of problem gambling as well as assistance with patrons who want to self-exclude from venues.

An external review of the state-wide GHS system was completed last year under the Gambling Harm Minimisation Plan for Queensland 2021-2025. The review considered how well the support system operates to meet the specific needs of individuals and communities.

The review found that while the GHS system is meeting the needs of its current clients, several enhancements are required to ensure it effectively meets the specific needs of a changing and diverse client base.

A key part of the solution is enabling greater access to non-therapeutic supports such as financial counsellors for people experiencing gambling harm.

To support these essential services, the Queensland Government has committed to funding training for additional specialist problem gambling financial counsellors in Queensland and an online problem gambling toolkit for generalist financial counsellors.

Several other gambling harm minimisation initiatives are being rolled out on top of this including a sports club partnership program to raise awareness of gambling harm, the risks of the normalisation of gambling in sport, and to promote safe gambling within sporting club environments.

You can also expect to see another Queensland Household Gambling Survey and a targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth gambling research project over the next 12 months.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation will share updates on the implementation of the Gambling Harm Minimisation Plan on our Facebook page and Inside Liquor and Gaming newsletter. I recommend subscribing to these channels to ensure you get the latest news on projects and changes as they happen.