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22 January 2019

Ministerial media release: Responsible Gambling Fund to deliver 'smart support'

Issued by Minister for Racing Paul Toole

Help could soon be in-hand for gamblers, with the NSW Government investing $436,000 to develop the first intervention apps in Australia aimed at reducing gambling harm.

Minister for Racing Paul Toole said as part of the Responsible Gambling Fund grants program, Deakin University would develop two mobile apps aimed at supporting people who want help to reduce or stop gambling.

“Many people have smartphones, which gives us an opportunity to provide round-the-clock support to those who want to take control of their gambling,” Mr Toole said.

“Deakin University will develop cutting-edge interventions from the mental health and addiction fields to deliver support to people in their everyday environment.”

Deakin University Associate Professor of Psychology Nicki Dowling said the apps would be developed from research undertaken by the university to provide people with the right amount of support whenever and wherever it is needed.

“We will develop new and leading technology to deliver interactive, engaging, and brief strategies that address gambling urges, as well as linking gamblers to additional support from other NSW treatment services,” Associate Professor Dowling said.

“This project extends the reach of the Gambling Help service system in NSW and will be an important new way of getting help for gamblers.”

This initiative is just one of 10 successful projects, equating to an almost $1.4 million investment into preventing gambling harm in NSW. Other projects include a pilot gambling harm screening program, youth education program and talks delivered by individuals who have overcome gambling addiction.

Mr Toole said the RGF supports partnerships between local service providers as well as new treatment, harm minimisation and education and awareness initiatives.

“The grants program is a key part of the NSW Government’s commitment to responsible gambling and ensuring people have the support they need,” Mr Toole said.

The next round of grants open on 29 January, with an additional $2.5 million available to support research as well as proposals that use technology and innovation to prevent and reduce gambling harms. More information available here.

Eleisha Rogers 0439 867 112