skip to main content
Gambling Harm

Georges River Council is committed to ensuring the community is safe and healthy. As part of this commitment, on 27 March 2023, Council endorsed the establishment of a gambling awareness campaign. This campaign aims to provide information about gambling harm to the Georges River Community. 

What is gambling? 

Gambling is taking part in any game or activity in which you risk money or a valuable object in order to win a prize. It includes things like Lotto and scratchies, poker machines, sports and race betting, and online gambling. About half of adults in NSW gamble, and for most it is just a form of recreation. 

The NSW Gambling Survey 2019 shows how people across NSW gamble. 

What is gambling harm? 

Harm from gambling isn’t just about losing money. Gambling harm is any negative consequence caused by or made worse by gambling. Gambling can affect self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health, work performance and social life. It can harm not only the person who gambles but also family, friends, workplaces and communities.

All sorts of people can develop issues with gambling. It isn't possible to identify a single trigger that may have pushed someone over the edge. It's more likely to be the result of a combination of experiences and social cues.

The NSW Gambling Survey 2019 highlights those who experience gambling problems and the harms they experience. 

GambleAware Week 2023

GambleAware Week is an annual initiative to increase awareness of gambling and gambling harm in the NSW community. It’s an opportunity to increase the community’s understanding of risky gambling behaviour, encourage gamblers to recognise when their gambling may place them at risk of harm, and provide information on practical ways to keep their gambling under control. This year, the theme is What’s gambling costing you? We are encouraging people to think about the costs of gambling not only on their finances but also the impacts on health, relationships, or careers. 

Get involved and share the message

GambleAware Week is a community initiative and we all have a role to play in keeping our community safe. Everyone is encouraged to take part in GambleAware Week. It’s a great way to raise awareness in your community and show your commitment to preventing gambling harm. It can be as simple as sharing GambleAware Week messages on your social media, displaying posters in your business or community hubs, attending one of the many events across NSW and encouraging everyone in your network to think about what gambling is costing them.

We have resources including posters, social media posts and videos that you can use to promote GambleAware Week and a handy promotional kit with lots of tips and resources to help you get the most of out of your GambleAware Week. We also have an events calendar so you can see the activities being held across the state to attend.


Online Gambling Harm Course

Understanding Gambling Harm is an online prevention course developed by Deakin University. It provides education on the risks and harms associated with gambling, why it’s so addictive, and how to manage responsible gambling. The course is designed for anyone interested in learning how to manage and reduce gambling-related harm. 

Access the course from the Understanding Gambling Harm course website.

Gambling Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the odds?

    What are the odds of: 

    Winning 1st Division Lotto? 11,500 to 1 
    A professional golfer hitting a hole in one? 2,500 to 1

    Hitting the jackpot on a $1 poker machine? (for a typical prize of $5,000) 

    9,700,000 to 1
    Being dealt a royal flush in the first 5 cards of a poker hand? 649,740 to 1 

    The odds of developing a problem with gambling: 

    If you only gamble occasionally? 50 to 1 
    If you gamble once a week or more other than lottery-style gambling? 7 to 1 

    Learn more at GambleAware.

  • Gamble more safely

    Decide what's right for you

    GambleAware recommends following the three rules as a great place to start. 

    • How much? - no more than 1% of household income.

    • How often? - no more than 4 days per month.

    • How many ways? - no more than 2 types of gambling.

    Other tips from GambleAware and BetSafe include: 

    • Think about how you gamble.

    • Have a game plan.

    • Ignore peer pressure.

    • Set realistic expectations.

    • Don't drink alcohol while gambling.

    • Ask for help when you need it.

  • Signs of gambling harm

    Signs of gambling harm for yourself or someone else can include the following:

    • Being reluctant to talk about finances.

    • Hiding mail and bills.

    • Borrowing money and having difficulties replacing it.

    • Changes to mood or behaviour.

    • Losing interest in usual activities, like spending time with friends or family.

    • Neglecting work, school, family, or household responsibilities.

    • Arguing with family or friends about money and gambling.

    • Gambling for longer than planned.

  • Accessing help

    If you or someone you know is affected by gambling harm, there is no shame in reaching out. GambleAware counsellors are available over the phone right now. For free, confidential advice and support, call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 24/7. 

    There are many different ways to access the support you may need:

    • Online counselling services via GambleAware.

    • Free in person counselling services available all over NSW.

      • In the Georges River area, St Vincents Health run a Gambling Treatment Program, a confidential and effective treatment program for people who are experiencing gambling harm. 

    • Talking to a financial counsellor.

    • There is help available in over 40 languages via GambleAware.

      • Call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 and ask for a professional GambleAware counsellor who either speaks your language or knows your culture. They may use an interpreter to help connect you to the right counsellor. ​

    • Gamblers Anonymous Australia has both in-person and online meetings available.

    • Using BetStop, the National Self-Exclusion Register, to block online and phone gambling providers. 

    • BetSafe Self Exclusion allows you to exclude yourself from up to 50 NSW clubs and hotels. 

Did you find this content useful?

Your feedback allows us to measure our customers' satisfaction with our website content.

If you wish to raise a particular issue with us, we recommend you raise a Customer Service Request. This will ensure your matter is scheduled with the appropriate teams and will allow you to track the progress of the issue.

Thank you for your feedback.