THIS week is Responsible Gambling Awareness Week and the Gambling Help Service at Relationships Australia is promoting responsible gambling with various activities.
These are encouraging people with gambling problems to seek help.
Problem gambling does not discriminate: people with gambling problems come from all walks of life.
They vary in age from teenagers to the elderly and participate in all forms of gambling, from instant scratchies to high rollers at the casinos.
Often, people with gambling problems are not always easy to detect as they sometimes can keep their problem a secret.
Gambling Help counsellor and community educator, Steve Novak, said some people who developed gambling problems believed if they continued gambling, they would win soon and win back what they had lost.
"Also, often they think that gambling is a solution to money problems and gambling is also used as a way to escape from stress and depression," he said.
"Problem gambling is not about how much money is being spent, but more about how much gambling is interfering with personal relationships, employment, study and other financial commitments."
A person may have a gambling problem if they are:
- Spending more time and money than they intended to;
- Arguing after gambling with family or friends;
- After losing, have an urge to return as soon as possible to win back losses;
- Feeling guilty or remorseful about gambling;
- Missing work in order to gamble; or
- Hiding how much they're gambling.
If you think you or someone close to you might have a gambling problem, your local Gambling Help Service is a good place to start.
For further information, phone the Gambling Help Line on 1800 858 858.