News & Media

29 July 2016

Local help available for problem gamblers

Gippslanders and their families have been reminded that local help is available for problem gamblers following the release of new statistics showing they continue to haemorrhage money to electronic gaming machines.

Gippslanders and their families have been reminded that local help is available for problem gamblers following the release of new statistics showing they continue to haemorrhage money to electronic gaming machines.

According to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), in the 2015-16 financial year, total losses at the pokies across Gippsland’s six local government areas amounted to $126.5 million, an increase of $3 million from the previous year.

Residents of Latrobe City lost a massive $43.56 million on the pokies.

While this amount is down slightly from the total loss in the last financial year, Gambler’s Help Partnership Officer Tenille Thorburn said it was still a huge amount of money considering many residents already face significant social disadvantage.

“At $43.56 million, it’s almost double the second-highest losses in the region, which is in East Gippsland. In the last financial year, they lost $23.64 million,” said Ms Thorburn.

“We want to remind people that there are ways they can seek help if they are concerned about their gambling behaviour.

“Gambling can be addictive, and as with all addictions, you should get professional help.

“Through the Gambler’s Help service at Latrobe Community Health Service, we provide therapeutic and financial counselling, recovery assistance and education. These services are free and confidential.”

Ms Thorburn also reminded people they are not alone.

“It’s estimated that for every one person experiencing problems with their gambling, up to 10 other people are impacted. Problem gambling can be linked to mental health issues, financial difficulty and relationship breakdowns,” she said.

“Gambling is meant to be a form of entertainment, and not a way to cope with or escape from other social or personal issues.”

For more information about Gambler’s Help services, visit www.lchs.com.au/gambling-alcohol-drugs/gambling or phone 1800 242 696.