Getting back to business – advice on the prevention of gambling harm
Your business has been doing it tough – and so have your patrons. Here’s some ideas for how you can support them as you reopen.
- Keep a close eye out for people at risk of gambling problems. This handy one-pager gives a quick reminder of the warning signs
- Ask your staff to check in regularly with gaming room patrons, and to encourage them to take breaks and head home on time.
- Check that your self-exclusion processes are up-to-date and that your staff are across them. Some of your patrons will be trying not to return to gambling – and self-exclusion may be the answer.
- Let your patrons know where to get help. You can include information about Gambling Help in your newsletters, share our posts on social media, or print and display this poster (PDF 2.6 MB).
- Reach out to your local Gambling Help service to make sure you are confident in referring people. They might have additional advice or be able to support you to keep your patrons safe.
- Don’t promote gaming in your customer emails. You’ll have lots of exciting news about reopening, and with so much to offer, there’s no need to promote the pokies as well.
Why is this important?
We know that you have your community’s best interests at heart. And it’s never been more important to look out for one another. Many of your patrons have been experiencing the same stresses that you have, and some will be more vulnerable to gambling harm than ever before.
Research and modelling being undertaken by various institutions during the pandemic has raised concerns regarding:
- Mental health – with evidence of increased rates of anxiety and depression[i],[ii],[iii]
- Financial hardship – including reduced income and being unable to pay household bills[iv]
- Alcohol consumption – drinking more and drinking to cope with anxiety and stress[v],[vi]
- Unemployment – in addition to existing job losses, expectations of job losses are high[vii]
- Suicide – modelling suggests an increase in suicide and in youth suicide[viii]
We know that unemployment, having a low income, experiencing mental illness, and alcohol and other drug issues are all risk factors for problem gambling. We also know that gambling can worsen the effect of these and other impacts of this pandemic, and that many problem gamblers gamble most intensely in times of stress.
These are just some of the reasons why, now more than ever, we need to support our communities and patrons and help them to avoid experiencing harm as a result of gambling.
Signs of risk and problem gambling behaviour – for gaming staff and venues
This resource is a tool to assist venues and front-line staff responsible for carrying out Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG).
The resource is intended to complement the existing RCG training and outlines common signs and behaviours exhibited by persons experiencing problem gambling, and when staff should respond.
More information about the requirements of gaming venues and their staff can be found at the Liquor and Gaming NSW website.