Pokies a problem in Bass Coast
On average, people in Bass Coast lost $43,430 to pokies every day in 2014-15, totalling $15,851,964 in losses for the year.
This year, Bass Coast Shire Council, the South Coast Primary Care Partnership and Bass Coast Health are focussing on the family and friends of problem gamblers throughout Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, which runs from 12 to 18 October in Victoria.
The week promotes the concept of responsible gambling at an individual, industry and community level.
Council, along with its partners, will promote the warning signs and ways to get help for problem gambling, with the goal of minimising harm to community members and their families.
At a personal level, responsible gambling means gambling:
is within your financial means
doesn’t interfere with your life or the lives of those around you
At a community level, including gambling providers, governments and sporting associations, responsible gambling requires:
shared responsibility for generating awareness of the risks associated with gambling
creating and promoting environments that prevent or minimise problem gambling
being responsive to community concerns around gambling
In Bass Coast, gambling losses have the Shire ranked 39th out of the 70 local governments in the state with pokies.
“This is not a great statistic if you consider many of the losses on pokies could have been spent on mortgages, food or education expenses,” Cr Brown said.
“Losses of $43,430 per day are unimaginable and we’d feel much better if some of that money stayed in the pockets of individuals and families.”
The ABC is also airing a documentary on poker machines and the corporate organisations that operate them on 20 October at 9.30pm.
Produced by Neil Lawrence and Mitzi Goldman and directed by Jane Manning, Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation exposes how the seemingly innocuous pokie machines are programmed for addiction.
If you are concerned about a family member, friend or yourself, contact Gamblers Help 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 858 858 or the local service in Wonthaggi on 1800 242 696. You can also find online support via email or live chat with a counsellor by visiting www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.