Forum to address a rise in problem gambling in SA migrant communities
New research suggesting problem gambling within migrant communities is on the rise will be the focus of a Relationships Australia forum today.
Multicultural Affairs Minister Zoe Bettison will open today's 'Have Your Say Day' forum run through Relationships Australia's PEACE Multicultural Services as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.
"The State Government recognises the need to make problem gambling support available to all who need it, including in our migrant communities," Ms Bettison said.
"Since funding for the Multicultural Gambling Help Services began in 2003, the demographic landscape in South Australia has evolved considerably.
"PEACE and the Office for Problem Gambling have been working together to explore this changing landscape and have consulted with a wide number of stakeholders."
The survey conducted by PEACE showed there has been a significant increase in these new and emerging communities seeking help for their gambling problem.
"Today's forum will help develop the first-ever problem gambling plan specifically targeted to multicultural communities," she said.
The plan will assist industry and service providers respond to gambling issues within multicultural communities.
"We know that about 1.6 per cent of our population has a serious gambling problem that adversely affects them, their families and communities," she said.
"In many cases, people need professional help to overcome their problem and restore their lives and wellbeing.
"Problems with gambling are often accompanied by difficulties in other areas such as relationships, finance, mental health, alcohol, drugs, violence and crime."
Ms Bettison said research shows that humanitarian arrivals are likely to have suffered trauma and have difficulties in settling in a new country, and they may be at risk of developing a gambling problem.
"This is why gambling addiction requires a holistic response, such as that provided by the PEACE Multicultural Gambling Help Service, to restore wellbeing for the affected person and their families."
The new collaborative plan will be released later this year. For information on problem gambling call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 or go to www.problemgambling.sa.gov.au.