The Palaszczuk Government of Queensland, Australia has published a new 4-year plan aimed at minimising and preventing gambling-related harm to local people, families and communities in the state. The release of the new gambling harm minimisation plan came as part of the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) 2021.
As revealed by Shannon Fentiman, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the new gambling harm minimisation plan rolled out by the Queensland Government for the period from 2021 to 2025 outlined the shared roles and responsibilities for the gambling sector, the authorities and the local community in a combined effort to reduce the negative consequences associated with gambling in the Australian state.
Minister Fentiman further noted that gambling is a complex social issue that not only affects gamblers themselves but also their families, friends, colleagues and the wider community. In addition, the negative consequences are associated with every aspect of the affected gamblers’ lives, including their relationships, their finances and their mental health.
The Minister for Justice shared that, according to the most recent gambling survey among Queensland householders, 70% of local people gamble. It is true that only a small number of these people would be categorised as problem gamblers, the Government has to make sure that all gamblers in the state are protected from harm associated with their gambling habits.
Authorities, Gambling Industry and Local Communities Must Cooperate in the Gambling Harm Minimisation Plan
The newly-unveiled 4-year plan for minimisation of gambling-related harm is set to be carried out in line with the overall commitment of the state administration to the matter. As part of the plan, Queensland administrators will pursue more social responsibility by the gambling sector and will also focus on the implementation of collaborative, technological and systemic approaches when it comes to prevention and minimisation of the possible negative consequences from gambling.
As mentioned above, the four-year plan is to pursue shared roles and responsibilities for the Queensland Government, gambling industry and communities in order to guarantee a more efficient reduction of gambling-related harm.
What the plan is specifically aimed at is the prevention and minimisation of gambling-related harm inflicted on Queensland residents, their family members and entire communities, and people with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin in particular, as they have been identified as the ones experiencing the most serious gambling harm. Young people would also be targeted by the plan because they are usually considered more susceptible to negative consequences of gambling for finding it harder to control their gambling habits and often not realising the actual consequences compulsive gambling could have on their lives.
As the Palaszczuk Government has confirmed, the gambling participation rates, gambling patterns and habits of people have changed a lot over the recent years. The increasing number of international and interstate gambling operators that offer their services online, along with the constantly evolving digital technology and advertising in the gambling sector is actually making problem gambling and gambling-related harm worse, so Queensland residents should be guaranteed the professional treatment and support to deal with the negative consequences associated with gambling.