Gambling and the Workplace is the theme for this year’s Responsible Gambling Awareness Week with employers and employees encouraged to look out for and assist colleagues.
Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing, Troy Grant, said Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, from May 26 to 31, is an opportunity to raise awareness about problem gambling and the support services available to help people overcome it.
“The theme of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2014 is focused on gambling and the workplace and sending the message to keep an eye out for your workmates,” Mr Grant said.
“If you or a workmate have gambling issues, there are free and confidential NSW Government-funded Gambling Help counselling services that are available, either face-to-face, via the phone or online.
“Problem gamblers and their families can access help 24-hours-day, seven-days-a-week by phoning 1800 858 858 or visiting the revamped Gambling Help website at www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au
“Gambling Help services are funded by the Government’s Responsible Gambling Fund with a common goal to help people understand and overcome problem gambling, and to provide support, advice and encouragement as they do so.
“There are more than 50 free face-to-face Gambling Help services available across NSW offering specially trained counsellors with a wealth of experience in helping people find their way out of gambling-related difficulties.”
Mr Grant said as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, the Responsible Gambling Fund and Gambling Help services are raising awareness about problem gambling and promoting counselling services through local communities and workplaces.
“The Responsible Gambling Fund has also published a booklet on problem gambling in the workplace for human resource managers.
“While the vast majority of people who gamble, do so in a responsible manner, the Government acknowledges for a small proportion it can cause problems. In NSW the proportion of problem gambling is around 0.8% of the population – a rate among the lowest in the country,” Mr Grant said.
“Problem gambling not only impacts on the personal lives of those affected by it and their families but can also have serious impacts on workplaces through absenteeism, poor performance and job loss.
“With online and mobile gaming there is even greater potential for gambling to impact not only in the home but also in the workplace,” Mr Grant said.