30 March 2020
NSW residents will see a welcome name change for the week to raise awareness of gambling harm later this year.
The week will now be known as “GambleAware Week”, bringing NSW closer to the name for the week used around Australia -- Gambling Harm Awareness Week.
Alliance for Gambling Reform NSW Campaigner, Dr Kate da Costa, said the name change was the result of significant behind-the-scenes work.
“The previous name for the week in NSW, Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, really bought into the industry’s spin and placed the responsibility for gambling harm with the person who gambles. We know how many tricks and actions the gambling industry uses to get people to gamble more, or even become addicted, so it was important to have this name change occur,” Dr da Costa said.
“We were pleased to receive a letter from the Minister responsible for gambling, Mr Victor Dominello, confirming the name change for this year.
“This change has come about following the NSW Upper House support last year for a Greens motion calling on the government to change the awareness week name to reflect the desired public health outcome.
“As Cate Faehrmann (Greens) noted during that debate “pokies do not provide a net social benefit. For every problem gambler, six to 10 other people are affected. The economic and social losses of problem gambling outweigh the tax benefits received by the State Government. It leaves an underfunded welfare system and already strained charity groups to pick up the pieces when lives and families are destroyed by gambling addiction”.
“Daniel Mookhey (ALP) made the obvious point “If we are serious about the purpose of having an awareness week then we should call it what it is: a week in which we are able to draw to the community's attention the harm that results from gambling.”
Dr da Costa said that while the name change fell short of the Alliance and the Upper House suggestion of ‘Gambling Harm Awareness Week’, the new name is an important step in the right direction.
Kate da Costa on 0419481328 or [email protected] (NSW Campaigner)
Rebecca Thorpe on 0491 209 436 or [email protected] (Communications Director)