The Multicultural Problem Gambling Program for Chinese Communities assists problem gamblers and their families from Chinese communities living in the Western, South Western Sydney and the Sydney Central Business District areas. The service provides quality and accessible counselling, treatment and support services.
Confidential assistance includes free telephone counselling, information advice and referral as well as one to one counselling in Chinese languages.
The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. In 1956 poker machines were legalised in NSW clubs. TAB off-course betting was established. In 1984 hotels were permitted to install gaming machines. By 1992 NSW clubs were required to be licensed to install gaming machines. Following this the Star City Casino opened in 1995. In 1997 a telephone counselling and referral services for problem gamblers and their families was launched in NSW.
In 2016, Australia was estimated to have 197,122 poker machines installed. Half of these are in NSW. (The World Count of Gaming Machines 2016). Gambling brings tax revenue to the government. In 2015-16 revenue reached $2 billion in NSW alone. In the same year the total gambling turnover in Australia was about $204 billion in 2015-16; nearly 70% from poker machines. In 2016, Australians lost an average of $1,273 per capita in gambling. (Australian Gambling Statistics 33rd edition).
The main reason that you have not given up on gambling is that you believe that you still have a chance to win back all your losses. If you really want to quit gambling, you have to ask yourself why you want to quit. You need to understand how gambling affects your work, relationships, health and credibility, and to ponder the consequences of continuous gambling. By seeking professional help, through counselling, you can be assisted to reduce or stop gambling gradually.
Trying to recover your losses will only result in losing even more. This is the reality for all gamblers. You will achieve better results by disentangling yourself from gambling, understanding false beliefs around gambling, learning financial management, concentrating on work or study and beginning to pay off your debts. In this way your savings will gradually increase.
Having no debt or paying a debt off and quitting gambling are different things. You should ask yourself the question: what else in my life is negatively affected by my gambling? If you do look at the impact of gambling in all aspects of your life you risk returning to your previous cycle of gambling after repaying the debt.
Family members can take the initiative and ask for help, learn how to protect themselves, take care of their assets, and encourage gamblers to seek professional help for their gambling problems.
It is better to allow gamblers pay their own gambling debts. If gamblers do not bear the consequences of gambling they will have no incentive to commit to stopping gambling.
In addition to gambling counselling, MPGS can refer gamblers to free and confidential financial counselling or legal assistance to help them deal with debt or legal issues.
The Multicultural Problem Gambling Program for Chinese Communities is hosted by the Transcultural Mental Health Centre within the Western Sydney Local Health District. Financial assistance for this program is provided by the New South Wales Government through the NSW Government, Office of Responsible Gambling.