NSW residents lost more than $2 billion on gaming machines in just the past four months, according to Brett Fahey from GambleAware.
“That’s not what’s been spent and put through, but just losses,” he pointed out.
Mr Fahey is regional leader in the Illawarra, South-East NSW and the ACT for GambleAware, which took over this month to provide gambling help services throughout the state.
He said the services were desperately needed, and his team was looking forward to supporting the community.
“The new GambleAware Illawarra and Southern NSW service will provide a broad range of gambling support and treatment options for the local community, including financial and therapeutic counselling,” he said.
“We’re proud to be providing this really important service and look forward to working with clients throughout the region.
“Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our local community, and this transition will continue to see us delivering appropriate gambling support and treatment services to the people who live and work in this region.”
The service is not just focused on people with gambling problems, but on all those impacted by gambling addictions.
“That includes educating people about the impact of gambling harm, how to identify it, how to start a conversation about it, and how to make referrals for people to address their gambling addiction, and to make change,” Mr Fahey said.
Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling Natalie Wright, says the transition to GambleAware is part of a redesign of how gambling information, education and support are delivered in NSW.
The name GambleAware unites all NSW gambling support services and is focused on supporting the entire community.
“The services range from community engagement and education through to support and treatment, and now includes those who may not currently experience challenges around gambling but may be at risk,” Ms Wright said.
The change of name and new regional service approach is the first stage in introducing the GambleAware program across NSW, with online bookings and additional self-help options among the new offerings to be launched later this year.