NSW Office of Responsible Gambling Launches GambleAware Peer Support Service
The NSW Office of Responsible Gambling is introducing a new peer support service through GambleAware to help those suffering from problem gambling.
Starting next year, NSW gamblers will have the chance to seek guidance from individuals who have personally faced gambling challenges. This initiative is part of a broader array of support mechanisms available in the state, which already includes options like counselling, online chat, and educational resources.
Boosting GambleAware’s Support Capabilities
The primary goal of this new service is to enhance the ability of GambleAware providers in NSW to offer effective and secure peer support. A significant aspect of the service includes the recruitment and retention of peer support workers within local communities.
Additionally, the service is set to develop specialized resources for GambleAware providers and facilitate continuous professional training for peer support workers. The Office of Responsible Gambling has emphasized the importance of these initiatives in ensuring the workers have the necessary support and development opportunities to excel in their roles.
Alison Parkinson, the director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, highlighted the value of peer support as a non-clinical option for those seeking assistance with gambling addiction.
This service will provide an additional option for people experiencing gambling harm. It makes sure people across NSW can access support that meets their needs and circumstances. The service will work with GambleAware providers so they are ready and able to offer peer support from early 2024. This will include helping them to recruit and train peer support workers.
NSW’s Ongoing Efforts to Reduce Gambling Harm
This introduction of the peer support service is part of NSW’s ongoing efforts to mitigate gambling harm. Recently, the NSW government announced an additional AU$100.0 million in funding to support various harm minimization initiatives and projects. In the 2023-24 period, $10.0 million from this funding will enhance the GambleAware support services, awareness campaigns, and research initiatives.
Further allocations include $6.4 million for improving self-exclusion schemes and $3.4 million to aid an independent panel overseeing gambling reform in the state. From 2024-25, an annual budget of $21.7 million will be dedicated for three years to fund other gambling harm minimization initiatives and reforms. These funds originate from a substantial $100.0 million fine imposed on Star Entertainment Group, penalized for its failure in anti-money laundering practices and social responsibility at Star Sydney, as revealed in Adam Bell SC’s report.