Federal Government urged to continue funding specialist problem gambling counsellors

More information: www.problemgambling.gov.au (Video: Department of Social Services)

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Untilthe day they sat in front of a counsellor, Sue* hadno idea about the extent of her husband’s gambling addiction. There was a wide gap in the amount of client debt, ranging from $500 utility debts to secured loan default in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Where to Find Help

Financial counselling helpline (national): 1800 007 007

“After financial counselling, the majority of clients (87 per cent) had an improved financial position,” the report said.

Gamblers Anonymous (NSW/ACT):http://www.gansw.org.au/, helpline tel 02 9726 6625

“The uncertainty about funding is difficult for the counsellors,” saidFCA’schief executive Fiona Guthrie. The funding ceases on June 30.

Gambler’s Help Youthline (Vic): 1800 262 376

A spokesperson for Minister for Social ServicesChristian Porter said the government was aware of the issues and valuedthe role of community organisations and financial counsellors that helped problem gamblers.

Gambling Impact Society (NSW):http://gisnsw.org.au/

Australian Government problem gambling services:www.problemgambling.gov.au

“At least one agency will start closing its service in early May, while others have put in place contingency plans for closure a few weeks later.”

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Thomas speaks about his gambling addiction Gambling reform advocate Tom Cummings tells a cautionary tale about his gambling addiction in a video publicising the issue. They avoided legal action.

*Pseudonyms have been used.

Gambling Help (NSW):https://gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/Helpline 1800 858 858

Gambling Help Online:http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/

“The mental or physical health of clients had also improved in around 70 per cent of the case studies. They get incredibly upset by the fact they are unablehelp their clients.

The research also showed total losses fromproblem gambling fell into two distinctive categories: 45 per cent suffered lossesof $20,000 or less while 30 per cent sufferedlosses in excess of $60,000.

It found online sports betting was a fast growing problem. It also foundmore men than women were involved in racing/TAB gambling and online sports betting.

Responsible Gambling Victoria:http://www.responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au/

The report, based on a survey of 27 agencies, showed the next most common impact was relationship breakdown.Family violence, suicide ideation or suicide attempts, involvement in fraud or other crime were also reported.

Since 2012, the government has been providing $6.6 million a year to fund the work of 50 specialist problem gambling counsellors. “Without knowing what’s happening, they can’t forward plan. Photo: John Woudstra

The counsellor helped them plan to repay the money into the super fund, report the breach, and requestcompassionate consideration. About 70 per cent of women in 68 case studies used poker machines.

Gambler’s Help (Vic): 1800 858 858

“Details of the Budget will be released on Budget Day,” the spokesperson said.

“For the first time I feel he has the confidence to change, but I’m under no false illusion he may have a relapse if he doesn’t receive regular counselling,” Sue said.

Most clients of problem gambling counsellors were unable to pay their bills or debts.

Most clients of problem gambling counsellors were unable to pay their bills or debts. Over half of clients stopped gambling while undertaking financial counselling and another 30 per cent reduced their gambling activity.”

When Joshua circumvented a casino self-ban and made his way into various TABs more than 200 times, the counsellor helped the couple cancel credit cards and Sue take control of themoney.. Photo: Financial Counselling Australia

Joshua is one ofan estimated 80,000 to 160,000 Australians with a serious gambling addictionthat oftenleads to financial, relationship and psychological problems, and sometimes crime and suicide.

But Financial Counselling Australia says agencies will start preparing to close their doors in the coming weeks because the Federal Government has not made clear whether funding will continue.

To underscore the importance of the specialist field, the FCA on Monday published a report about problem gambling that showed the most common impact was that clients were unable to pay bills or debts.

What’s worse, they now faced the possibility of being prosecuted because Joshua* had breached superannuation law to fund his pokie and horse racing addiction.

Between 80,000 to 160,000 Australians are believed to suffer significant problems from their gambling.

Between 80,000 to 160,000 Australians are believed to suffer significant problems from their gambling. On top of a$73,000 credit card debt, he had used $70,000 from his self-managed superfund.

He is among the lucky ones who have had access toproblem gambling financial counselling -a specialisation which requires extra training.

Poker machines dominated bothgenders and all age groups

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