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Published Monday 18 October 2021
Tags:General, Environment, Media Release

It's time to talk gambling

$15 million was lost on pokie machines in Mitchell Shire in 2019-2020. Even during 2020-2021, when the shire was locked down for months, more than $12 million was lost on pokies.

These figures don’t account for the unknown losses that took place through online gambling, including sports betting, which has increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

October 18 to 24 was Gambling Harm Awareness Week and the theme for 2021 is Talk. Share. Support.

During Gambling Harm Awareness Week, people were encouraged to talk about the harms associated with gambling and the effects they can have on communities, families, friends, workplaces and individuals.

Gambling harm can affect self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health, work performance and social life.

The week focused on personal stories of recovery, which are powerful because they offer a sense of hope and optimism. They also encourage open community discussions that help to reduce stigma, which can be a barrier to help seeking.

Stigma around gambling can lead to lower self-esteem and feelings of shame or failure, and can lead to a delay in acknowledging gambling difficulties and seeking help.

The 2021 campaign highlights neuroscientific research to explain how the brain changes and responds to gambling, and how an addiction can develop. Brain scans show how a near-miss can be almost as exciting as a win, and this affects a person’s ability to stop gambling.

Know someone in need? Help is on hand all the time

  • Gambler’s Helpline 24/7 – 1800 858 858
  • Gambler’s Help Youth Line 27/7 – 1800 262 376
  • Online support 24/7 – Gambling Help Online website
  • National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007
  • Lifeline 24/7 – 131114

This page was last updated on 4 November 2021.