- »NSW Prepares for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week
NSW Prepares for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week
The New South Wales Government is dedicated to monitoring gambling in its territory through its Office of Responsible Gambling. For one week in September, there will be an extra bright spotlight on the issue of gambling harm and how to gamble responsibly.
RGAW stands for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.
Different parts of Australia celebrate it and use it at various times, but New South Wales has chosen to set it for September 16-22, 2019.
The purpose of dedicating a week to responsible gambling is to put forth extra resources to increase awareness about gambling in general but with a special focus on gambling harm in local communities.
NSW wants to take the opportunity to increase the community’s understanding of risky gambling behavior. The hope is to teach and encourage gamblers to recognize when their gambling may be harmful to themselves or others. The next step is to provide information including practical ways to keep gambling under control.
For those who have gambling problems, NSW’s Office of Responsible Gambling wants to ensure that they know how and where to get help.
Theme: Check In
The theme this year for RGAW is “Check In.”
It means that people will be encouraged to check on their own gambling, as well as to check in on friends, family members, and even colleagues.
There is a “Check In” online tool. People of NSW will be directed to the Office of Responsible Gambling website to use the tool for themselves or others.
For example, if a person goes to the “Check In” page, they can choose to check in on “my own” gambling or “someone else’s.” These are the follow-up screens:
- How do they gamble? (at a venue, online, or both) (Let’s choose venue for this example.)
- Do they gamble alone or with others? (alone, with others, or both) (Let’s choose both.)
- How do you feel about the time they spend gambling? Is it… (a lot more than I’d like, a little more than I’d like, or not too much) (Let’s choose a lot more than I’d like.)
- How do you feel about the money they spend gambling? Is it… (a lot more than I’d like, a little more than I’d like, or not too much) (Let’s choose a little more than I’d like.)
Those selections then result in tips. The screen reads: “Thank you for checking in. Here are some big and small changes you could suggest.”
It then goes into 17 suggestions, with these as the first few listed:
- Do something different with the friends you normally gamble with.
- Have someone in your life who you can talk to openly about gambling.
- Take up a new hobby or get back into an activity you used to enjoy.
- Set an alarm on your phone to limit the time you spend gambling.
It should be noted that anyone is welcome to “check in” anonymously. There is no point at which the person on the computer is asked for a name, address, email, or phone number.
Events Scheduled Thus Far
All clubs, community groups, schools, and other venues are encouraged to host events throughout the RGAW in September.
NSW’s Office of Responsible Gambling will provide numerous resources posters, brochures, and informational packets that can be transmitted digitally or in person.
Some of the events already on the calendar are as follows:
- September 5: CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains – Community Breakfast Group at Aboriginal Catholic Services (to be held in conjunction with Child Protection Week)
- September 13: BaptistCare HopeStreet Gambling Help – RGAW launch
- September 13: BaptistCare Gambling Help Open Day in Bondi Junction
- September 16-19: ONE80TC – RGAW Pop Up stand in Windsor RSL
- September 17: BaptistCare HopeStreet Gambling Help – Check-in morning tea
- September 18: Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast – RGAW check-in event in Wilcannia
There are numerous other events from Fairfield to Wagga Wagga. There are carnivals and teas, golf days and wellness fairs.
An interesting event will be held at the University of Sydney on September 19. The GTRC and Poche Centre for Indigenous Health will coordinate for a training day. They will cover education about problem gambling with a focus on aboriginal culture for gambling counselors.
Other Forms of Participation
People need not attend an event to use RGAW to take stock of one’s own gambling or take a serious look at the behaviors of others.
The NSW Office of Responsible Gambling is asking people to use the theme as a hashtag on social media as #CheckIn to express support and encourage others to do the same.
There are also resources available online or by contacting the office for anyone who needs help or information to pass along to a friend or family member.