Assisting Problem Gamblers in the Gaming Venue: A Counsellor Perspective

Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Help-seeking Problem gambling Counsellors Barriers Gaming venues 

References

  1. Allcock, C., Blaszczynski, A., Dickerson, M., Earl, K., Haw, J., Ladouceur, R., et al. (2002). Current issues related to identifying the problem gambler in the gaming venue. Melbourne: Australian Gaming Council.Google Scholar
  2. Blaszczynski, A., Ladouceur, R., & Nower, L. (2007). Self-exclusion: a proposed gateway to the treatment model. International Gambling Studies, 7(1), 59–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Booth, B. M., Kirchner, J., Fortney, J., Ross, R., & Rost, K. (2000). Rural at risk drinkers: correlates and one-year use of alcoholism treatment services. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 61, 267–277.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Caraniche. (2005). Evaluation of electronic gaming machine harm minimisation measures in Victoria. Melbourne: Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  6. Clarke, D., Abbott, M., DeSouza, R., & Bellringer, M. (2007). An overview of help seeking by problem gamblers and their families including barriers to and relevance of services. International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, 5, 292–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Delfabbro, P. H. (2007). Australasian gambling review (3rd ed.). Adelaide: Independent Gambling Authority.Google Scholar
  8. Delfabbro, P., Osborn, A., Nevile, M., Skelt, L., & McMillen, J. (2007). Identifying problem gamblers in gaming venues. Melbourne: Gambling Research Australia.Google Scholar
  9. Evans, L., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2005). Motivators for change and barriers to help-seeking in Australian problem gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 21(2), 133–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Giroux, I., Boutin, C., Ladouceur, R., Lachance, S., & Dufour, M. (2008). Awareness training program on responsible gambling for casino employees. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 6(4), 594–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hing, N. (2003). An assessment of member awareness, perceived adequacy and perceived effectiveness of responsible gambling strategies in Sydney clubs. Report prepared for the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing. Lismore: Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University.Google Scholar
  12. Hing, N., (2007). Under the radar: what responsible gambling legislation doesn’t prevent. Paper presented at the National Association for Gambling Studies 17th Annual Conference, 15–17 November, Cairns.Google Scholar
  13. Hodgins, D. C., & el-Guebaly, N. (2000). Natural and treatment assisted recovery from gambling problems: comparison of resolved and active gamblers. Addiction, 95, 777–789.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ladouceur, R., Jacques, C., Giroux, I., Ferland, F., & LeBlond, J. (2000). Brief communications analysis of a casino's self-exclusion program. Journal of Gambling Studies, 16, 453–460.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McDonnell-Phillips. (2006). Australian national survey of gambler pre-commitment behaviour. Melbourne: Gambling Research Australia.Google Scholar
  16. McMillen, J., Marshall, D., Murphy, L., Lorenzen, S., & Waugh, B. (2004). Help-seeking by problem gamblers, friends and families: A focus on gender and cultural groups. Canberra: Centre for Gambling Research, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  17. New Focus Research. (2004). Study of clients of gambling services. Stage 2: Round 1 report. Melbourne: Gambling Research Panel.Google Scholar
  18. Nowatski, N., & Williams, R. J. (2002). Casino self-exclusion programmes: a review of the issues. International Gambling Studies, 2, 3–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Productivity Commission. (1999). Australia’s gambling industries. Canberra: AusInfo. Report No. 10.Google Scholar
  20. Productivity Commission. (2009). Gambling—Productivity Commission draft report. Canberra: Australian Government.Google Scholar
  21. Pulford, J., Bellringer, M., Abbott, M., Clarke, D., Hodgins, D., & Williams, J. (2009). Barriers to help-seeking for a gambling problem: The experiences of gamblers who have sought specialist assistance and the perceptions of those who have not. Journal of Gambling Studies, 25(1), 33–48.Google Scholar
  22. Raylu, R., & Oei, T. (2004). Role of culture in gambling and problem gambling. Clinical Psychology Review, 23(8), 1087–1114.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Responsible Gambling Council (2008). From enforcement to assistance: Evolving best practices in self exclusion. Toronto: Responsible Gambling Council.Google Scholar
  24. Rockloff, M. J., & Schofield, G. (2004). Factor analysis of barriers to treatment for problem gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 20(2), 121–126.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rothi, D. M., & Leavey, G. (2006). Mental health help-seeking and young people: a review. Pastoral Care in Education, 24(3), 4–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Scull, S., Butler, D., & Mutzleburg, M. (2003). Problem gambling in non-English speaking background communities in Queensland: A pilot study. Brisbane: Queensland Treasury.Google Scholar
  27. South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (2003). Evaluation of self-exclusion programs. Melbourne: Gambling Research Panel.Google Scholar
  28. Suurvali, H., Hodgins, D. C., & Cunningham, J. (2009). Motivators for resolving or seeking help for gambling problems: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Gambling Studies. Published online: 20 September, 2009. doi:10.1007/s10899-009-9151-y
  29. Townshend, P. (2007). Self-exclusion in a public health environment: an effective treatment option in New Zealand. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 5(4), 390–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tremblay, N., Boutin, C., & Ladouceur, R. (2008). Improved self-exclusion program: preliminary results. Journal of Gambling Studies, 24(4), 505–518.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Gambling Education and ResearchSouthern Cross UniversityLimsoreAustralia

Personalised recommendations