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Focus on problem gambling

Centacare counsellor Peter Beamish
Centacare counsellor Peter Beamish.
Blacktown residents are being invited to take part in the fight against problem gambling by making a one-minute video on one of the warning signs.

Peter Beamish, a gambling counsellor with Centacare Catholic Social Services, Diocese of Parramatta, said the competition was part of the Gambling Hangover campaign launched recently by the State Government to target young men with a gambling problem.

“We’re looking for creative people from Blacktown who can help us raise awareness of the warning signs of problem gambling,” Peter said. “As well as having your work seen by thousands of people on the campaign’s YouTube channel, you could win an iPad.

“One of the most important challenges we face is to ensure that we find and help problem gamblers before they hit rock bottom. It’s often difficult to admit you have a problem, and those affected frequently keep it a secret from family and friends. Helping people understand the warning signs is vital.”

Peter said that counsellors looked at 11 signs and symptoms when they were checking to see if someone has a gambling problem. They are:

  • Betting more than you can afford to lose;
  • Gambling with increasing amounts of money to get the same feeling of excitement;
  • Returning to try to win back money you have lost;
  • Borrowing money or selling possessions to gamble;
  • Feeling that gambling is a problem in your life;
  • Stress and anxiety brought on by gambling;
  • Being criticised for betting or told that you have a problem by other people;
  • Financial problems; and
  • Guilt about gambling.

“If you have three or more of these symptoms, you might be a problem gambler. But if you have between one and three, you may be at risk of becoming one,” Peter said.

Competition closes on 15 October 2010. To take part, visit

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