Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) 2020 will be held from Monday 27 July – Sunday 2 August. This year’s theme, Getting help is a safe bet, reminds people to stop, take a breath and think about their gambling, and highlights that support is available.

RGAW has always been a time for hotels in Queensland that offer gaming to check in with their patrons, refresh their Responsible Service of Gambling (RSG) training and think about how their staff can offer help to those who need it. This year, RGAW is particularly important.

Many of your patrons will still be dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 such as unemployment, isolation, loneliness, anxiety or depression. This could place them at a heightened risk of gambling harm. For others, venue closures provided an opportunity to take a break and start addressing their gambling problems.

You can assist your patrons by ensuring your venue has strategies in place and by working closely with your Gambling Help service. Your local service can assist patrons to exclude remotely from multiple venues in one process, without having to attend a venue. All Gambling Help services also offer free, confidential counselling to people who may be struggling with problems related to gambling.

The lead up to RGAW also offers the perfect opportunity for your staff to undergo refresher training on RSG. The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) has the High Stakes RSG  training video series available. The videos show how hotel gaming room staff can spot the signs of a potential problem and effectively help patrons and concerned third parties.

During RGAW, OLGR will be sharing important messages on their Facebook page and encourage you to reshare them on your venue’s channels.

These posts will ask Queenslanders to think about their gambling  and encourage them to reach out for help or information through the  Queensland Government-funded Gambling Help Queensland website and/or contact the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.

Messages will also address how family and friends can help if they notice someone close to them is being impacted negatively by gambling.

A poster will be available online to download soon. You can display it and get the conversation started this RGAW to encourage your patrons to stop, take a breath and remember that if they are concerned, getting help is a safe bet.