Problem Gambling Help SA

Gambling after COVID-19

The closure of land-based gambling venues due to COVID-19 has changed the way many people gamble, with many people taking a break from their normal gambling activities. For some, it has been difficult and challenging, while for others, it has provided the opportunity for reflection and change.

People may also be experiencing a mixture of emotions such as feeling stressed, overwhelmed, bored, restless, or lonely. These experiences are all understandable in the face of change and uncertainty.

On Monday June 29th 2020, gaming venues will re-open in South Australia after an extended period of time.

It is important that you know how to protect yourself from gambling harm, especially given that your financial situation may have changed and you may be experiencing heightened feelings/emotions (e.g., stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness).

Ways to minimise gambling harm

If you are concerned that when venues reopen it may result in an increase in how much time or money you spend gambling, there are options that may be helpful for you.


Managing boredom

During times of change, it may be helpful to find new structure in your daily life, or perhaps find something new to do that will keep you engaged. If you are looking for different ways to spend your time, Gambling Help Online regularly share ideas via their website gamblinghelponline.org.au/blog.


Setting yourself a limit

To help you keep track of your gambling, set yourself a limit. This can be anything from the amount of time spent or using money from only one source to gamble with. It’s about finding the balance that works for you. Venues are even able to work with you to set some limits around the amount of time and/or money that you spend in their venue.  Learn more about setting yourself a limit by visiting gamblinghelponline.org.au/making-a-change.


Talking to someone who can help

If you are concerned about your own gambling or someone you care about, you can talk with a gambling counsellor for support or advice via the Gambling Helpline. The Helpline is a free service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact them on 1800 858 858 to talk to someone that can help.

If you want talk to someone face to face, a counsellor can refer you to gambling help service based here in SA. If you would rather go to them directly, please visit here for a list of services available near you

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone over the phone, you can chat online to a counsellor via Gambling Help Online. The site also contains online forums, blogs and other self-help information for anyone seeking support with their gambling.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty coping or staying safe, Lifeline provides crisis counselling and suicide prevention services. Phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Lifeline also provides an Online Crisis Support Chat if needed.


Assistance from your bank

Many banks now offer additional support to help you to control your gambling, such as blocking transactions for gambling and setting limits around spend. Speak with your bank for more information .


Barring yourself

You can ask to be barred from many forms of gambling such as gaming venues, betting agencies, lotteries and online gambling. If you choose to bar yourself at a venue, this will be for a minimum of 3 months. If you choose to bar yourself through Consumer and Business Services (CBS), this can last for a period of 3 years (with a 12 month minimum period). If you are concerned about someone else’s gambling, you can also discuss third party barring options. CBS will guide you through the steps required to bar yourself from a venue. Contact them by calling (08) 8226 7233, texting 0427 051 300 or via email on gamblingadministration@sa.gov.au


Respecting staff

COVID-19 has also been difficult and challenging for venue staff who may have been impacted in other ways. If you decide to recommence gambling, please be mindful of the way you interact with venue staff as they are still required to provide a duty of care to patrons within that venue.


Stop the spread

Restrictions have eased in South Australia, but there is no room for complacency.

Continue playing your part to stop the spread of coronavirus:

  • Get tested if you have symptoms (even if mild).
  • Keep practising good hygiene
  • Stay 1.5 metres apart whenever and wherever you can
  • Download the COVIDSafe app.

If you would like more information, please visit www.sahealth.gov.au


Immediate help is available now. Contact the Gambling Helpline now for free and confidential support, 24/7

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