What venues can do to minimise harm

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What staff can do

If you work at a venue where there’s gambling, you’re in the best position to notice any warning signs that a customer may have issues with their gambling.

The 4 key areas to look at are:

  1. The length of time a customer spends playing
  2. How the customer behaves while they’re playing
  3. How the customer uses and accesses money
  4. How the customer interacts socially.

The limits of what you can do

Your venue has legal obligations as well as a duty of care. Make sure you understand your venue’s procedures. As a staff member, your role is to:

  • pay attention to how patrons are behaving
  • record any incident you see in your venue’s incident register (if it has one)
  • either notify your manager or the licensee or consider an immediate response.

 

General signs

Seen by themselves, the general signs may be early warning signs. Someone displaying several of these signs could be experiencing problems with gambling.

  1. Length of play
  • Starts gambling when the venue is opening or only stops when the venue is closing
  • Gambles most days
  1. Behaviour during play
  • Gambles on two or more machines at once
  • Rushes from one machine to another
  • Has a significant increase in spending pattern
  • Complains to staff about losing, or blames venue or machines for losing
  • Demonstrates rituals or superstitious behaviours (rubbing or talking to machine)
  1. Money
  • Asks to change large notes before gambling
  • Rummages around in wallet for additional money
  • Uses coin machine at least four times
  • Has run out of all money when they leave the venue
  1. Social behaviours
  • Stays on to gamble even after friends leave the venue
  • Monitor the person’s behaviour.
  • If you have an incident register, record what you’ve seen.
  • If a patron displays 2 or more of these signs, consider whether an immediate response is required according to your venue’s procedures.

Someone displaying any of the probable signs is much more likely to be experiencing problems with gambling.

  1. Length of play
  • Gambles right through normal meal times
  • Finds it difficult to stop gambling at closing time
  1. Behaviour during play
  • Often gambles for long periods (three or more hours) without a proper break
  • Plays very fast
  • Gambles intensely without reacting to what’s going on around them
  • Sweats a lot while gambling
  1. Money
  • Gets cash out on two or more occasions through ATM or EFTPOS
  • Avoids cashier and only uses cash facilities
  • Puts large wins back into the machine
  • Leaves venue to find money to continue gambling
  • Has their EFTPOS repeatedly declined
  1. Social behaviours
  • Avoids contact or conversation with others
  • Becomes angry or stands over others if someone takes their favourite machine or spot
  • Monitor the person’s behaviour.
  • If you have an incident register, record what you’ve seen.
  • If a patron displays 2 or more of these signs, consider whether an immediate response is required according to your venue’s procedures.

It’s highly probable that someone displaying any of these strong signs is experiencing problems with gambling.

  1. Length of play
  • Gambles from opening to closing
  1. Behaviour during play
  • Shows obvious signs of distress (crying, holding head in hands, shaking)
  • Has an angry outburst towards staff, customers or machine (shouting or swearing, kicking or hitting machine)
  1. Money
  • Gets cash out on two or more occasions through ATM or EFTPOS
  • Avoids cashier and only uses cash facilities
  • Puts large wins back into the machine
  • Leaves venue to find money to continue gambling
  • Has their EFTPOS repeatedly declined
  1. Social behaviours
  • Leaves children unattended
  • Tells staff that gambling is causing them problems
  • Has a significant decline in personal grooming or appearance over several days
  • Has friends or family raising concerns
  • Conceals their presence at the venue (doesn’t answer mobile phone, asks staff not to let others know they are there)
  • Monitor the person’s behaviour.
  • If you have an incident register, record what you’ve seen.
  • Consider whether an immediate response is required according to your venue’s procedures.

Remember your Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) training?

You had to complete mandatory RCG training‌ for your NSW RCG Competency Card, so you’ll be familiar with the Course Handbook. It was updated in March 2021. We recommend you take a look at the latest version.

Interested in funding or a grant for a project of your own? 

Contact us to find out about current funding opportunities. Email info@responsiblegambling.nsw.gov.au or call 02 9995 0992.

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GambleAware acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land and we pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging. GambleAware is an inclusive support service.
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