Lifestyle

Trouble with gambling is an odds-on risk

Max Fleet

UP to one in five people in any Australian community are in trouble with gambling - theirs or someone else's - according to research quoted yesterday by Relationships Australia.

In Gympie, more than $1 million was wagered on poker machines in March alone.

Steve Novak, of Relationships Australia, says problem gambling is not just having a flutter.

And the damage is not just confined to the destitute loser, but spreads also to families, friends and employers.

Mr Novak says the odds are still in our favour, but the chances of being a victim are greater than the odds of winning big.

There is nothing wrong with gambling the way most of us do it - the occasional lottery ticket or day at the races.

But Relationships Australia says there is a point where a hobby becomes a life's work, and a lifetime's misery in far too many cases.

And for every problem gambler there are many other victims - friends, family and employers of those with gambling problems.

Speaking during Responsible Gambling Action Week, Mr Novak said there was room for enjoyable gambling. "Many Australians gamble regularly, and for most people gambling is an enjoyable activity," Gympie-based Relationships Australia counsellor Steve Novak said yesterday.

"Popular forms of gambling such as lotteries pose no major risk to the consumer, but some gamblers may experience harm as a result of their playing habits," he says.

And for those people the harm may be "intense and damaging."

At the current rate, the odds are that one child in every classroom will find they develop a gambling problem or come close to it.

"The Australian Productivity Commission reported in 2010 that up to 500,000 Australians are problem gamblers or at risk of it," he said.

"Up to five million Australians are affected by problem gambling each year, and this includes just about everyone in that person's life.

"In Gympie in March alone, 18 licensed poker machine venues had more than $1 million wagered, according to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation."

Mr Novak says Relationships Australia provides free face-to-face counselling for problem gamblers, as well as relationship and family counselling.

 

Gambling facts

  • Number of problem gamblers in Australia - 500,000
  • Number affected by excessive gambling - up to five million
  • Help available on 1800 858 858
Gympie Times

Topics:  gambling, poker machines, relationships australia




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Freezing night for Gympie elderly man after riverbank fall

The 73-year-old man was discovered on the banks of Deep Creek early on Wednesday morning after a long, freezing, wet night.

73 year old Gympie man airlifted after long, cold, wet night

Gympie receives a new wave of coffee culture

Camille Nash (left), new owner of Craft Punk Espresso, and her mother Lynne Donnelly, June 29 2016

New owner bringing love of 'coffee culture' to Gympie

Fire tragedy: Investigations continue into Dean house fire

The house fire on Noosa Rd in Monkland shocked the community.

No suspicious circumstances around devastating fire, police say

Latest deals and offers

Concern over Smerdon Rd high-density development

Mick Curran talks about the community's concern over the project which was approved...

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Chaos outside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Distress as cars escape Istanbul airport after bombing.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward