Liquor and Gaming NSW

​$1.8 million render to tackle NSW aboriginal problem gambling

Thursday 13 June, 2013     [PDF,58kb]

Minister for Hospitality and Racing, George Souris and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello, today announced a tender valued at up to $1.8 million for a three-year program to target problem gambling in NSW Aboriginal communities.

Mr Souris said the tender is part of a wider $4.05 million strategy to engage Aboriginal communities on problem gambling, promote education and awareness, increase access to counselling services, support counsellor training and develop Aboriginal problem gambling counsellor cadetships.

"The NSW Government is committed to targeting Aboriginal problem gambling with culturally appropriate and effective programs that can address the needs of Aboriginal communities," Mr Souris said.

"Mr Souris said the Gambling and Aboriginal People Awareness Program will:

  • Increase awareness of problem gambling within Aboriginal communities through community events and promotional activities.
  • Support the development of community-based problem gambling action plans.
  • Encourage Aboriginal problem gamblers to seek help through culturally-trained telephone and face-to-face counselling services.
  • Ensure high visibility in Aboriginal communities of responsible gambling messages and availability of problem gambling counselling services.
  • Deliver Aboriginal cultural awareness training for problem gambling counselling and support services.
  • Support mentoring for Aboriginal problem gambling counsellor cadets, with a separate cadetship program tender to be later called.

"The successful tenderers for the Gambling and Aboriginal People Awareness Program will be required to hold two initial events in targeted communities. The first is an informal social event designed to attract and engage grassroots community members who are concerned about the issue. The second will bring service providers, community leaders and local organisations together for two-day problem gambling awareness workshops," Mr Souris said.

"The goal of the workshops is to get everyone working together on a localised plan that will reduce the impact of problem gambling on that particular community.

"The NSW Government will support these activities by providing a range of print and promotional materials." 

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello, said gambling is a significant issue for Aboriginal people, with studies demonstrating problem gambling prevalence is higher in Aboriginal communities than the general population.

A NSW gambling prevalence survey released last year found that those of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent were more likely to have gambled in the past year (72% compared with 65% of others) and more likely to be problem gamblers (1.7% compared with 0.8%) and moderate risk gamblers (4.3% compared with 2.9%).

"The NSW Government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal communities to ensure problem gamblers have access to counselling services, including those offered by qualified Aboriginal people," Mr Dominello said.

"The Government wants to change this by raising the level of problem gambling education and awareness in Aboriginal communities to ensure that Aboriginal problem gamblers know where to get help and what counselling services can achieve."

For further information on problem gambling support services visit or phone 1800 858 858.

Media contact:

Norm Lipson (Minister Souris) 0467 734 679

Jim O’Rourke (Minister Dominello) 0409 185 431