A new initiative to address problem gambling in Queensland was announced by state government officials during the first day of the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW).
4-Year Gambling Harm Minimization Plan
The Queensland Government released a 4-year plan aimed at tackling problem gambling by minimizing gambling harm and preventing state residents from developing problem gambling behavior.
Informed by the Queensland Government’s Responsible Gambling Advisory Committee (RGAC) comprising of industry experts, community, and government members, the gambling harm minimization plan accentuates the collaboration between government, industry, and community and their shared responsibilities to reduce problem gambling.
With a long history of working in collaboration to tackle gambling-related harm in the state, the RGAC is set to take the lead on the implementation of the plan, while leaving the opportunity for all other stakeholders, or others who may be impacted by the measures, to make their contributions towards the end result.
Protection for Everyone
Speaking about the 2021-2025 Queensland gambling harm minimization plan, the state’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman outlined that the complexity involved with gambling, which impacts not only the gambler, but their family, workplace, and the wider community, requires all institutions and stakeholders to acknowledge their role in supporting residents to gamble safely.
Citing the most recent household gambling survey in Queensland, Fentiman noted that, out of the large proportion of people who actively gamble, 70% of state residents according to the survey, just a small fraction could be classified as problem gamblers, yet this does not relieve institutions and the industry from their responsibilities to make sure everyone is protected.
The Attorney-General continued that the “When gambling took over…” motto of this year’s RGAW, which began on July 26 and is set to run until August 1, is aligned with the new Queensland Government campaign looking to deal with the public stigma around the problem gambling and instill change in behavior by urging people who feel they may need help to seek for it.
“With a growing number of interstate and international gambling operators providing online services; digital technology and advertising exposing Queenslanders to gambling at a very young age – we need to make sure Queenslanders have the support they need to seek help and recognise the signs of problem gambling.”Shannon Fentiman, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Queensland Government
Shifting towards Safer Gambling
Victoria Thomson, Deputy Director-General of Liquor and Gaming, added that the plan would look to maintain the current approach to public health by emphasizing the responsibility of the industry towards the issue.
Thomson announced a “shift from responsible gambling to safer gambling” to outline the need for all involved parties to broaden their focus beyond the gambler to prevent gambling harm from happening by identifying people at risk and introducing early interventions.
“We will only be able to achieve this through a collaborative and coordinated effort – creating safer gambling environments that also include partnerships across sectors, venues and Gambling Help service providers.”Victoria Thomson, Deputy Director-General, Liquor, Gaming and Fair Trading, Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General