- »NSW Expands GambleAware and Reclaim the Game
NSW Expands GambleAware and Reclaim the Game
The New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling took time during the coronavirus pandemic to increase the ways in which to expand gambling help. Two of those ways are gaining traction in 2021, as GambleAware establishes more hubs in NSW and more teams join the Reclaim the Game campaign.
The NSW Office of Responsible Gambling has been working with GambleAware to establish points of access to gambling help. People who want or need anything from support or treatment should have more places to obtain those things.
GambleAware is an independent organization formed in Great Britain to service gamblers in need of help for problem gambling. Services quickly expanded due to public demand and spread across the UK. In the past decade, GambleAware has spread around the world as a template for everything from preventing gambling harm to providing help when it becomes a problem.
The organization is essentially a charity that helps people make informed decisions about gambling and situations that may arise from it. The focus is to educate the public about gambling, truths versus myths, to understand the inherent risks and odds, and to provide support and help if needed.
As NSW prepares to redesign its gambling support services via the Office of Responsible Gambling, they paired with GambleAware to establish a list of providers for the public.
New GambleAware Providers
Beginning 1 July, 2021, Australians in NSW will gain access to a range of providers that will offer more services for gambling support than ever before. There will be ten of them, aligned directly with NSW health districts and positioned to help the largest number of people.
The new providers for each region will be:
- University of Sydney with CatholicCare Social Services Parramatta Mission in Blue Mountains & Western Sydney
- University of Sydney with CatholicCareSydney Wesley Community Services in Central Sydney
- Regional Community Care with Lifeline Central West in Far & Western NSW
- Centacare New England North West with CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning in Hunter New England
- Mission Australia with Gambling Impact Society NSW
- Lifeline North Coast in Mid & Northern NSW
- Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) in Murrumbidgee
- Wesley Community Services with Parramatta Mission in Northern Sydney & Central Coast
- Vincent’s Hospital Sydney with Baptistcare NSW and ACT CatholicCare Sydney in South Eastern Sydney
- University of Sydney with CatholicCare Sydney Parramatta Mission in South Western Sydney
The outreach of services will be able to service more communities than in the past and to focus on specialist Aboriginal and Multicultural services. In addition, the contracts between the aforementioned entities span five years.
The new digital platform connecting the GambleAware services will provide more support via self-help all the way to video counseling and online appointment bookings. The future holds peer support and new client guides in the system, too.
This system also allows NSW and GambleAware to collect data that will be used to hone in on the most needed services and improve quality, depth, and availability.
Help will be available through these options beginning 1 July, 2021. The NSW Office of Responsible Gambling will provide more information as that date nears.
Reclaiming the Game
In 2020, the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling decided to change the narrative around sports betting.
Studies like the NSW Youth Gambling Study 2020, which released its results to the public in February of this year, showed that young people are starting to become aware of gambling even earlier in life than many had thought.
One of the predominant findings of the study was that young people begin to understand and find incentives to gamble as early as 11-12 years of age. Many see the examples of older people in their lives or witness the prevalence of gambling in hotels, restaurants, and other frequently visited places. And many connect sports betting with sports at that young age as well.
Previous studies showed that one in every 20 NSW adults bet on sports in 2019, and they spent approximately $200 million on sports betting annually. The numbers have been growing at a rate of approximately 60% every five years.
Back in 2018, sports betting companies spent more than $270 million on gambling advertising, a number that continues to rise significantly each year.
The NSW Office of Responsible Gambling wanted to change the way people look at sports, to reclaim the game.
Since many Aussies learn about betting on sports at such a young age, the goal is to change the way they look at sports. At one time, families and friends enjoyed watching sporting events together without any element of betting.
Sports teams have been working with the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling to participate in the Reclaim the Game campaign. They want to remind their fans of how to enjoy sports without money on the line.
The first team to participate in 2020 was the Sydney Sixers.
The Sydney Thunder also participated in advertising for the campaign in December.
Earlier in 2021, the Western Sydney Wanderers joined.
The two most recent additions to the program are the AFL’s Sydney Swans and A-League club Macarthur FC. Last week, the Swans released the latest Reclaim the Game video just last week. It offers a different look than the two previous videos.
The Office of Responsible Gambling offers free and confidential support through Gambling Help NSW. This includes counseling by telephone or online chat 24 hours every day, seven days per week, as well as face-to-face appointments in 270 locations in NSW. There is also financial and legal advice and assistance available.