Problem gambling affects family

FOR every problem gambler, between five and 10 other people are significantly affected, according to research by the Australian Productivity Commission.

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week starts on Monday, so the Northern Rivers Gambling Counselling Service will be holding information sessions for partners, family and friends of problem gamblers.

Lismore-based counsellor Jiri Dusta said these people had a vital role to play in helping problem gamblers deal with problems before the situation became critical.

“Those who have a close relationship with problem gamblers are often the first to realise something is wrong,” she said.

“Recent research has shown that loved ones tend to underestimate the extent of the problem, as the gambler will frequently keep their full losses secret.”

Information sessions will be held at the Casino Uniting Church hall in Canterbury Street on Tuesday, May 18, and upstairs at the Lismore Uniting Church hall in Keen Street on Friday, May 21.

There are two sessions each day, from 10am to noon and again from 6pm to 8pm. Phone 6687 2520.



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