Poker machines are linked to problem gambling.
Poker machines are linked to problem gambling. Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily

Time to consider the impacts of problem gambling on youth

RAISING awareness among young people about the potential impacts of problem gambling will be the focus of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week which runs until May 31.

With gambling increasingly available on phones, tablets and through the internet young people are more susceptible than ever.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice Troy Grant said awareness is the key to protecting young people from the potential risks of problem gambling.

"It's not just young people who need to be aware, so do parents and carers so they can have informed conversations and encourage smart choices," Mr Grant said.

To help start the conversation, the NSW Government has created a new booklet, Talking to Teens about Gambling, to be distributed through its Gambling Help counselling network as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

"The booklet encourages critical thinking about gambling, addresses misconceptions about the chances of winning, and tells you how to find help if you or someone you know are having problems with gambling," Mr Grant said.

Problem gambling can lead to depression, impact on work and study performance, undermine friendships, disrupt family life, create financial stress, and even lead to criminal behaviour.

Additionally the booklet Problem Gambling: A self-help guide for families has been translated into Italian. The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has translated this material into a different language throughout our term to support our multi-cultural community with versions available in Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic.

Free and confidential counselling, including legal assistance and financial counselling, can be accessed by phone, online and face-to-face through Gambling Help services which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 858 858 or through http://www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au



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