If you're going to gamble, be responsible

Posted on: Wednesday, 25 May 2011

As part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (May 23-29), Eastern Health’s gambling experts are reminding Victorians to know their limits.

Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre gambling co-ordinator Simone Rodda is encouraging people with concerns about their gambling to seek help from Turning Point’s gambling support services, which are available via the phone and internet.

Around 12,000 Victorians sought help from Turning Point for gambling related issues in 2010.

“We are seeing a new group of clients coming through our online counselling service, including men in their early 20s,” Ms Rodda said.

“It is important people don’t let gambling take over their life. They should set themselves a limit and not exceed it.”

Ms Rodda said punting for some people started with seemingly small bets of $10 or $20, but that could quickly add up to a couple of thousand dollars.

“They then start to worry about how to get the money back and of course their ‘quick fix’ solution is to place another bet in the hope it will get them out of trouble,” she said.

“People who use their mobile phones can also easily lose track of how much they have spent.”

Ms Rodda acknowledged that the first step of asking for help could often be the hardest.

“Gambling can start to take over and people seek help because they feel sick from worry and down about feeling out of control,” she said.

Turning Point’s gambling support services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Our team of trained counsellors understand that gambling addiction is not an issue which can be solved overnight,” Ms Rodda said. “We’re here to lend a hand, set some goals and help people where we can.”

If you, or someone you know needs support, please call 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.