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Gambling Addicts Need Government Programs. 2005-09-25
Program to help gambling friends or families in trouble, has gotten itself in trouble. The Family Protection Orders, introduced in July last year, did just that, was in trouble for lack of clients to their program. There intervention with gambling relatives, who were having financial problems, had little turn out.
The program gave an Independent Gambling Authority the power to bar people from gaming venues, and to require them to attend counseling. A report in the State Parliament found the IGA received less than 60 calls their first year in action. Only three people had been imposed into the program, with another seven who chose to be barred.
No Pokies MLC Nick Xenophon said efforts for programs of this sort have faired poorly. He said it was next up to the Government to raise public awareness. Research indicates there are over 23,000 people with gambling problems but these were not the calls that came in. It seems that poker machines are responsible for the most gambling problems, the report additionally discovered.
Gambling Minister Michael Wright said information was provided in a booklet in newspapers, the Gambling Helpline, Break Even services and other agencies. Counseling services across the state has also been trained by the IGA and provided information. This just wasn�t enough to do the trick.
(By Andrea)