What would you do with $325,568? Would you go on a holiday? go to a concert? buy a house? This amount is how much on average is spent in the Geelong region on Pokie machines each day.
Harm occurring from gambling is a big public health issue in our Geelong community. Current research demonstrates that just over $118 million was spent in the 2017/18 financial year in the Geelong region alone, and this has been expected to increase in this financial year.
Gambling is becoming more and more normal within society. With the increase in gambling advertisements, and access to gambling platforms such as Pokie venues, TAB’s, casino, mobile apps, etc. there are quite a few conflicting messages in the media. So, when does gambling become a problem?
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if those you care about, or yourself have problems with gambling. A person may be experiencing financial difficulties such as regularly being short of money despite having a wage, and or commonly receiving disconnection notices. They may experience mood or behavioral changes for example becoming withdrawn from social/family events, becoming anxious, or other behaviors that are not the person’s normal self. There are also signs that relate to time loss that a person may experience such as being secretive about unexplained absences or taking a lot of sick days or days off from work.
However, harm doesn’t just affect the person who is gambling. On average, between 5 and 10 other people can be affected by one person’s gambling. These can include, family, friends, colleagues, managers, and other local community members.
Gambler’s Help at Bethany
In Geelong, Bethany Community Support provides local Gambler’s Help Services. They provide free, face-to-face, and confidential financial and therapeutic counselling services for those experiencing gambling harm. Community educators are also available to do school and sporting club presentations, as well as presentations to parents, community members, and health professionals
Bethany Community Support
16 Ballarat Road, Hamlyn Heights, Victoria, 3215
03 5278 8122
1800 858 858
provides a free, confidential information, advise or counselling, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Live chat is also available at https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/
Story and images supplied.