Assisting Problem Gamblers in the Gaming Venue: A Counsellor Perspective
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- Hing, N. & Nuske, E. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2011) 9: 696. doi:10.1007/s11469-010-9305-2
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Governments now recognise gambling as a social and public health issue that invites a collaborative approach to responsible gambling and help-seeking involving the gambling industry, gambling help agencies and the wider community. In this paper, we report on findings from interviews with 23 counsellors working in Queensland Gambling Help agencies in Australia based on their own and their clients’ experiences of the processes and practices involved in help seeking in gaming venues. An aim of this study was to establish how venues interact with local gambling help agencies to provide assistance to patrons with gambling problems and the way that venue staff respond. It identified gaps in relevant staff skills and responsible gambling training, particularly the barriers to providing appropriate assistance to problem gamblers, and best practice examples. The barriers to seeking assistance included: patrons feeling shame; issues of confidentiality; and lack of awareness of help available at gaming venues.