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$1.5 MILLION IN GAMBLING HARM PREVENTION GRANTS AWARDED

George Miller

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$1.5 MILLION IN GAMBLING HARM PREVENTION GRANTS AWARDED
Reading Time: 8 minutes

 

Community organisations across NSW have been awarded more than $1.5 million for local gambling prevention and harm minimisation projects under the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling’s Local Prevention Grants Program.

These projects will support the community to make informed decisions about gambling, break down stigma and encourage people to seek advice and support.

Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, Natalie Wright, said the projects being funded are instrumental in the work of the Office to prevent gambling harm.

“By funding local responses, we are enabling community organisations to meet the unique needs of their communities and of priority populations,” Ms Wright said.

“We know each community has unique challenges, which is why it was encouraging to see the diverse nature of these projects that address the different issues faced in at-risk communities.

“Through the grants, we aim to raise awareness about gambling harm by encouraging people to get involved, understand the risks and make informed decisions about gambling – something that is paramount in communities most vulnerable to gambling harm.”

A total of 14 projects have been funded, targeting a diverse population including projects with a focus on Aboriginal communities, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, youth, and regional NSW.

Projects include a mix of educational programs for parents and teens, gambling and financial literacy workshops, advertising campaigns aimed at breaking down the stigma of gambling and barriers to help-seeking, and CALD-specific responsible gambling programs.

The grant recipients include:

– CatholicCare Social Services for the Blue Mountains

– Fairfield City Council

– Granville Multicultural Community Centre

– Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast

– Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury

– Lifeline North Coast (NSW)

– Macedonian Australian Welfare Association NSW

– Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation

– Northern United Rugby League Club

– Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania)

– University of Sydney

– University of Technology Sydney

– Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service

– Wesley Community Services

The Office recognises that a whole-of-community response involving partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders is integral in preventing and reducing gambling harm.

For more information about the projects, please visit the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling website.

The full list of funded projects is here:

CatholicCare Social Services for the Blue Mountains: Off-Screen & Smart Play

CatholicCare Social Services for the Blue Mountains provides services in low-income and vulnerable communities. The project Off-Screen & Smart Play will target parents and school-aged children from these communities, to increase awareness and provide strategies for families on dealing with screen time and cyber safety. The project will highlight risks associated with gambling harm in these communities and educate families about the risks of gambling for young people online.

Working with local schools, the project will be run as workshops during school holidays and after-hours programs.

Grant amount: $20,376

Fairfield City Council: Responsible Gambling Community of Practice Facilitation

Fairfield City Council will build capacity of local organisations and community workers through the establishment of a responsible gambling Community of Practice focused on education, innovation and collaboration.

The aim of the project is to educate, facilitate, promote, train and build capacity of local community organisations, community workers and practitioners to deliver best practice prevention and gambling harm reduction programs in the Fairfield LGA. In addition, the project will leave a legacy of culturally and locally appropriate training resources and community awareness collateral

Fairfield Local Government Area is one of the most diverse communities in NSW with 54% of the population overseas born. It also has one of the highest rates of gambling in NSW.

Grant amount: $191,000

Granville Multicultural Community Centre: My Money, My Way

With a focus in the Cumberland Local Government Area, the My Money, My Way project by Granville Multicultural Community Centre will raise awareness of gambling harm and build capacity for the community to address moderate and problem gambling. The project will empower young people to make informed choices, and better understand the potential impact of gambling on them and their future.

Participants will be involved in workshops covering topics such as gambling advertising, the risks associated with certain types of gambling, cyber safety, self-regulation and strategies to minimise gambling risk.

Through personal pathway plans, participants will be able to set their own goals, create links for referral to support pathways and monitor their personal progress. Participants will have the opportunity to design a peer-focused support program orientated to their specific needs.

Grant amount: $98,952

Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast: Broken Hill Gambling Harm Awareness Program

This project aims to prevent and reduce gambling harm in Broken Hill, a small and isolated community in Far West NSW. It will support the community to make informed decisions about gambling, reduce stigma, encourage help-seeking, and connect people who need help with support services.

The project will deliver a targeted local awareness campaign, including radio and cinema advertising, seminars and three special educational events with guest speakers.

The project will develop creative and informative resources for ongoing distribution throughout Broken Hill’s pubs and clubs and further afield to other communities in Far West NSW.

Grant amount: $194,000

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury: Financial Life-Skills – Don’t get ripped off

The project will develop and present a Financial Literacy Workshop to be offered to young people aged 16 to 24 in the Northern Sydney area. The workshop will address the fundamentals of how young people can manage their finances to reach their financial goals and will focus on the risks and potential harms of gambling. Lifeline’s financial counsellors, with many years of experience, will present the workshop, which has been developed with young men, particularly young tradespersons, as they are at risk of becoming problem gamblers.

Grant amount: $10,575

Lifeline North Coast (NSW): Reduce the stigma radio campaign

The project is a focused radio campaign aimed at educating and creating community awareness of gambling problems. It will reduce stigma and overcome barriers to help-seeking. It will target young men in with an additional focus on Aboriginal and CALD communities. It will be rolled out over six-months using radio stations listened to by the target demographic.

The Reduce the stigma radio campaign aims to address the major barrier to help-seeking behaviours by providing clear and simple messaging and avenues for help. Many people within the community listen to popular radio programs during work and study, and by providing key messages and creating awareness, this project aims to educate and strengthen the motivation to seek help over a six-month period.

Grant amount: $25,000

Macedonian Australian Welfare Association NSW: Preventing Gambling Harm in Multicultural Communities

This project aims to prevent and reduce gambling harm and promote responsible gambling within culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities (in particular Macedonian, Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian communities) in South-East and South-West Sydney, to improve community health and safety related to gambling.

The project will include an educational campaign, delivered in Macedonian and in other former Yugoslav languages, to raise awareness of gambling and gambling harm, including two large educational events and forums and a monthly outreach group of education workshops. A production of a culturally appropriate marketing tools about gambling harm will be developed and distributed.

A whole-of-community education approach will be used, where community members who are at risk of gambling harm and their families are involved. The project will work collaboratively with local ethnic businesses and cultural and religious groups, local council, police, NSW Health and local clubs.

Grant amount: $58,125

Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation: Women’s Gambling Awareness Rugby League Knockout

Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation will provide gambling awareness in a new innovative way to Aboriginal communities, in particular Aboriginal women in high risk communities in Northern NSW, through the Women in League Knockout, a wellbeing camp and through film.

Aboriginal communities will be encouraged to enter teams into a Women in League knockout. These teams will attend a presentation on gambling risks, have gambling awareness promotion on their playing gear, attend a wellbeing camp and nominate a team member to be filmed and interviewed about gambling issues.

Throughout the journey of the project the aim is to see sustainable change and link those who need it to service providers.

Grant amount: $100,000

Northern United Rugby League Club: Dirrawong Responsible Gambling Program

Northern United Rugby League (NU) will conduct a multi-levelled gambling prevention program, the Dirrawong Responsible Gambling Program, targeted at the Aboriginal population of the North Coast and specifically targeting the population around Lismore. The program will involve an education program involving partnerships with The Buttery and individuals from Gamblers Anonymous as well as involving Beyond Empathy (an Aboriginal focused organisation who deliver innovative programs to help reduce mental health problems), the Aboriginal Medical Services and the Local Area Health Service.

A series of education programs will be held at weekly community training nights that regularly attract over 120 Aboriginal people of all ages. Program signage and information stalls will also be in place at all home games in 2020 and 2021, The program will culminate with branding and signage delivering a strong sponsorship message at the 2020/21 Koori Knockout.

Grant amount: $30,000

Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) (Project in Southern NSW): Recoded – changing the way we game

The ‘Recoded’ prevention program will provide education and capacity building on gaming and gambling for young people and their support networks including teachers, wellbeing staff, youth workers, and sporting clubs.

Uniting will employ a project officer and youth worker in Southern NSW to co-design a framework that can be delivered across a range of services and spaces accessed by young people to reduce the potential harms of excessive gaming and gambling. The framework will also develop a train-the-trainer module for key services to ensure the work is embedded within the local community.

The project will bring together best-practice and emerging evidence within the gaming and gambling space to design a responsive and adaptable program that improves community awareness and is able to identify risk factors for young people who are developing unhealthy behaviours. By providing this education to children and young people the program will create healthy and pro-social behaviours around gaming and reduce the risk of these behaviours becoming addictive and escalating to unhealthy gambling behaviours.

Grant amount: $200,000

University of Sydney: Bridging the gap through Aboriginal peer support

The University of Sydney Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic (GTRC) will implement a harm prevention program in indigenous communities in Western/South-Western Sydney. The project will increase awareness of problem gambling and enhance referral pathways by collaborating with community elders to co-design and co-deliver public awareness programs.

The project will build upon existing relationships with Aboriginal services to engage elders as peer-support workers, to provide ongoing support throughout the referral and treatment process. The project will increase the number of peer-support workers who can provide community education, enhance referrals and attend therapy groups to offer support. Educational initiatives will include workshops and resource sharing at community events and local media aimed at increasing awareness and promoting gambling support services.

Grant amount: $198,978

University of Technology Sydney: Aboriginal Animation Training & Resource Program

The Aboriginal Animation Training & Promotion Program will produce a resource about promoting safe gambling targeting Indigenous communities in NSW. Four, 30 second animation clips will be produced by young, indigenous filmmakers.

The clips will be screened throughout the annual Winda Film Festival in November 2020. There will also be opportunities to screen the clips on social media platforms and broadcast networks such as NITV/SBS.

Grant amount: $117,800

Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service: Walgett Community Garden: Yarning About Gambling

This project recognises gambling as a public health issue affecting the social determinants of health for individuals and community.

A reinvigorated Community Garden will provide a safe space unrelated to alcohol or gambling, a source of information, pathways to support, development of pride and contribution to community. Yarning is recognised as an appropriate strategy to engage about the impacts of gambling. Safe spaces, family-friendly activities and a source of fresh produce will be provided.

The project has a capacity building focus, including training Aboriginal Health Workers in Walgett and Brewarrina to equip them to respond to gambling harm and provide community with soft entry points, awareness and support regarding gambling and its impacts. The project targets its outcomes at connections to information and support for individuals, families and community.

Grant amount: $94,000

Wesley Community Services: Gambling awareness and money management program

Wesley Community Services will deliver In Charge of My Money Gambling Awareness to at-risk communities in the Penrith and Sydney-city. The service’s gambling counsellors work with 10 Alcohol and Other Drug Centres, two Community Housing Support Organisations and two Multicultural Community Centres in these regions, providing access and ongoing support to key, at-risk clients.

Wesley will deliver 50, three-hour workshops for 750 people who are at risk or are impacted by problem gambling. The program will provide a soft entry to access further targeted support. Clients will be engaged in an existing program with current partners and receive wraparound ongoing support in a therapeutic environment. The program content will address pathways into gambling and identification of risks and outcomes.

Grant amount: $194,000

Australia

Australian Study: Loot Box Buyers More Susceptible To Problem

Niji Narayan

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Australian Study: Loot Box Buyers More Susceptible To Problem
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Researchers in Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory (EGRL) at CQUniversity Australia has found that purchase of loot boxes make players more prone to real-life gambling problems. According to the study, players who purchase loot boxes are not only more likely to gamble in real life but more likely to wager for large amounts as well.

The study was funded by the NSW Government Responsible Gambling Fund. It had a sample size of 1,954 NSW residents who age ranged from 12 to 24. Among the respondents, 22.3% admitted to have gambling problems. The high percentage of people with gambling problems could be due to the fact that sample was chosen among people who engage with gambling and video games.

The study also found that 62% of the most popular video games have loot boxes of some form. In the study, a large majority of respondents (93.2%) had played at least one of these games in the last 12 months and 69.4% had opened a loot box from these games in the same period, However, only 32.9% of the respondents have actually bought the loot boxes.

Professor Matthew Rockloff, the lead author of the study, said: “[Loot boxes] are a growing concern because of the risk and reward elements associated with them that is similar to gambling and there are currently no age limits to play these games. For both young adults and adolescents, there was a strong association between current loot box use and gambling risk. Consequently, although median expenditure on loot boxes is modest, there is evidence that these products are associated with harmful gambling involvement.”

The study urges for preventative measures to prevent the exposure of adolescents to loot boxes.

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Australia

IGT ADVANTAGE System and Solutions Selected by Australia’s Spectacular New Crown Sydney Hotel Resort

George Miller

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IGT ADVANTAGE System and Solutions Selected by Australia’s Spectacular New Crown Sydney Hotel Resort
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Highly anticipated luxury casino will feature IGT’s M5 Service Window technology

International Game Technology PLC announced that its award-winning IGT ADVANTAGE® casino management system with its suite of innovative systems solutions has been selected to enhance the player experience at Crown Sydney Hotel Resort in New South Wales, Australia, which is scheduled to open in early 2021.

The innovative IGT ADVANTAGE system will connect live and electronic table games (ETGs) at the exclusive, tables-only VIP casino in the Barangaroo precinct on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. As part of the installation, IGT will also deploy its proven M5 Service Window technology on the property’s ETGs.

“Crown selected the IGT ADVANTAGE casino management system and solutions for Crown Sydney because of their inherent flexibility and proven efficiency, which will place our operation at the cutting edge of gaming technology,” said Sean Knights, Executive General Manager – Gaming, Crown Sydney. “Crown Resorts is internationally renowned for delivering a premium guest experience, and the IGT ADVANTAGE solution provides a suite of tools to assist Crown Sydney in ensuring the provision of an unparalleled gaming experience for our premium customers.”

“The IGT ADVANTAGE solution will offer Crown Sydney a compelling market position with advanced features that deliver greater player convenience, strengthen player loyalty, and generate deep business insights,” said Dallas Orchard, IGT Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific. “Our systems solutions will significantly benefit Crown Sydney guests and employees by providing unique capabilities that enhance gaming experiences and player safety.”

The IGT ADVANTAGE casino management system offers the deepest and most robust modules portfolio in the casino industry, with features and apps that set casinos apart from the competition. With the ability to integrate seamlessly with best-of-breed third-party technology, it enhances business processes while giving operators the tools to provide personalized player experiences and streamline operations.

A fully flexible content manager, M5 technology is based on the HTML5 industry standard, enabling staff to easily personalize Service Window and banner content, leveraging the full ETG game screen to display bonus content, ads, and promotions tailored to a player’s profile. M5 also helps to reduce kiosk and players’ club lines, enhancing social distancing by enabling players to safely stay on their machine and in their own personal space.

The first casino in Australia to open in more than a decade, the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort will also be the city’s first-ever six-star hotel, located in a landmark building with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. In addition to its VIP gaming facilities, Crown Sydney will include 349 hotel rooms and suites, luxury residences, signature restaurants, bars, luxury retail outlets, pool and spa facilities, and conference rooms.

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Australia

Tabcorp to Write Down its Wagering and Media Business by €605M

Niji Narayan

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Tabcorp to Write Down its Wagering and Media Business by €605M
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Tabcorp Holdings is going to write down its wagering and media business by at least AUD 1 billion (€605m) as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns and “the possible acceleration of retail contraction.”

The business made its announcement in a filing to the ASX Exchange, announcing that it has conducted a “review of assets” under which it plans to incur a write-down of $1 billion to $1.1 billion under its financial results for the year ending 30 June 2020.

The expected write-down is based on “potential decline in consumer confidence and increased economic uncertainty” in the wake of the pandemic and “potential acceleration of retail contraction and uncertainty regarding longer-term impacts as an indirect result of the pandemic.”

The operator expects EBITDA to be in the range of $990 million to $1 billion – down from $1.12 billion in 2019, issuing its preliminary unaudited results for the year ended 30 June 2020.

Net income is estimated to range between $267 million and $273 million for the year, excluding the non-cash goodwill impairment charges. This will be a fall of at least 31% from last year’s $396 million net income.

“COVID-19 has materially impacted our Wagering & Media and Gaming Services businesses. We are facing into a challenging and uncertain environment, and the current operating conditions and those expected into the future are relevant factors in assessing the value of the goodwill in those businesses at this time,” David Attenborough, Managing Director and CEO of Tabcorp, said.

“We remain confident in the strength and resilience of Tabcorp’s diversified portfolio of assets and are pleased that integration is now substantially complete. We are focused on supporting our people and partners during these challenging times while ensuring that Tabcorp emerges strongly post COVID-19,” Attenborough added.

Last week, Attenborough stepped down from his role as chief executive after coming under growing pressure from investors over the performance of the company.

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