Bass Coast,
30
May
2014
|
03:29
Australia/Melbourne

The Price Of Gambling

Gambling is a big problem in Bass Coast – in fact it is a $88.3 million dollar problem, with Bass Coast residents losing this amount through electronic gaming machines in the last five years.

From 2008-09 to 2012-13, annual losses through pokies ranged between $15.1 million to $19.1 million per year, not taking into account online gaming, sports betting, ‘scratchies’ and Tattslotto.

Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, called on the whole community to take a responsible approach to gambling.

“The average annual loss per gaming machine in Bass Coast is higher than other regional averages, and the average expenditure over the past five years has been around $766 per person aged over 18 years,” Cr Rankine said.

“One in six people who play the pokies regularly has a serious addiction. These losses include funds that would otherwise be spent on things like bills, food, mortgages and holidays.”

Cr Rankine said Council had developed both a Responsible Gaming Policy and an Electronic Gaming Machine Policy to address gambling issues in Bass Coast.

“Council is concerned about the EGM expenditure within the Shire and the negative effects this has on individual families and on the community as a whole,” Cr Rankine said.

“Whilst Council recognises that EGMs are a legitimate form of recreation it also recognises that it has a responsibility to the community to prevent and reduce harmful effects of electronic gaming.”

Held annually since 2006, Responsible Gambling Awareness Week runs from 26 May until 1 June, and highlights some of the issues associated with gambling.

The week recognises that those who provide gambling products, consumers, and the broader community all share responsibility for promoting and encouraging responsible gambling.

The week encourages:

  • Knowledge ­– Be informed so responsible decisions about gambling can be made. This includes knowing how gambling works and the odds of winning.
  • Balance – Decisions around gambling should be made in a broader sense of lifestyle and entertainment choices to maintain balance.
  • Control – When gambling, set appropriate time and financial limits.

How can you or someone you know get help?

You can call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 for free, confidential information, advice and counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or email or chat live with a counsellor by visiting www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.