Skip to content

Worried about someone who gambles?

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation 2 mins read

To mark the beginning of Gambling Harm Awareness Week (16–22 October), Victorians are being encouraged to reach out and offer help and hope to those in our community who may be struggling with a gambling issue.

‘People are often reluctant to raise their concerns with someone they suspect is experiencing negative consequences from gambling because it can make them feel uncomfortable – but it’s important that we do,’ Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO Shane Lucas said today.

‘Under the ongoing theme of Talk.Share.Support., the focus of this year’s Gambling Harm Awareness Week is on how to start a conversation with someone whose health and wellbeing are at risk of being negatively affected by gambling.’

Professionals, such as psychologists and therapeutic counsellors, as well as people with lived experience of gambling harm, agree that open conversations help to break down gambling harm-related stigma, foster understanding, offer hope of recovery and make people feel that it’s okay to ask for help. They suggest:

  • setting aside time to chat in a quiet, comfortable place where others won’t overhear your conversation
  • approaching the issue with care and sensitivity
  • being patient – if the person is not ready to talk, let it go and try again another time; reassure them that you are available to talk if/when they are ready; or suggest they speak to other friends/family/professionals if they would prefer
  • encouraging the person to speak freely – listen without judging or interrupting; maintain open, positive body language; and ask open-ended questions
  • offering support and guidance – check out available help resources and services and ask them how they would like you to support them
  • checking in regularly to see how they’re going and offer further support.

‘If you’re concerned that someone in your life – a family member, friend or colleague – could be experiencing harm from gambling, starting a conversation with them shows that you care and may change their life for the better,’ Mr Lucas said.

Early signs that someone is experiencing, or is at risk of, gambling harm can include stress, irritability, difficulty sleeping, having less time or money to spend on recreation with family or friends, and drinking or smoking more than usual.

Signs of severe gambling harm can include relationship conflict, reduced work or study performance, financial difficulties, anger, and feelings of shame and hopelessness.

For more information and a range of resources, including videos of tips from people with lived experience of harm and a new podcast – Let’s talk gambling – visit

About us:

Anyone negatively affected by their own or someone else’s gambling can call Gambler’s Help 24/7 on 1800 858 858 for free and confidential support, advice and referral.

Contact details:

Fiona Skivington         0428 248 931


More from this category

  • Gambling, Hospitality
  • 23/01/2024
  • 09:25
Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade


Licensed venues are being warned to comply with important gaming harm minimisation measures or face enforcement action, after the licensee of an inner Sydney venue was found guilty under the Gaming Machines Regulation 2019, after placing an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) in an “ATM room” attached to its gaming room. The licensee of Vbar on Liverpool St in Sydney’s CBD was ordered to pay the prosecutor’s costs in the amount of $5,500 by the Local Court, after inspectors from Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) found the ATM, and the Magistrate determined it was in the same part of the hotel…

  • Gambling, Government NSW
  • 18/01/2024
  • 07:00
NSW Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade

SportChamps fined again for flouting gambling ad laws

Online betting operator SportChamps has been fined $17,500 for inducing people to gamble and open a betting account, following five previous convictions for similar offences. SportChamps pleaded guilty in Downing Centre Local Court to two offences under the Betting and Racing Act following a Liquor & Gaming NSW investigation into advertisements on its website and Facebook pages that stated “Punt for free. Learn the game!” and “Receive a free bet each day”. In NSW, it is an offence to publish or offer inducements to open a betting account. Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations, Jane Lin, said it…

  • Gambling, General News
  • 08/01/2024
  • 05:30
Wesley Mission

Podium finish for Westyern Sydney pubs

Media release 08 January 2024 Podium finish for Western Sydney pubs Three pubs in Sydney’s west step onto the podium of poker machine misery after Wesley Mission’s analysis of the latest quarterly data from NSW Liquor and Gaming. The 2023 third quarter data set places the Markets Hotel (Homebush) atop of the dais with the highest losses over the 92-day period, followed by the Cross Roads (Casula) and Wentworth (Homebush West) hotels respectively. Wesley Mission CEO and leading gambling reform advocate, Rev Stu Cameron, says it is time to highlight the significant gambling harm occurring across the state’s hotels and…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.