seagulls seeks to create a responsible gambling environment and is committed to implementing Responsible Gambling, in accordance with the Gaming Machines Act 2001, the Constitution and By Laws of North Sydney Leagues Club Limited Group, other relevant legislation, and best practice for the benefit of patrons and employees.
North Sydney Leagues Club Limited Group aims to deliver gambling services in a lawful and responsible manner, with regard to the potential for self-harm to individuals and the communities’ broader concerns by:
- Provision of a free 24 hour counselling and crisis intervention service for club patrons and staff who have a gambling problem or know of someone who does – this is through the Betsafe Program
- Provision of an effective voluntary self-exclusion scheme for patrons
- Responsible Conduct of Gambling Training for all staff
- Assistance with the handling of gambling related incidents, which occur at the Club/s, and advice
- Promoting responsible gambling practices among Club patrons and the wider community
There has been a great deal of attention on gambling and in particular problem gambling in recent times. As a community organisation the norths Group is committed to providing a safe and responsible environment for all members and guests.
Whilst gambling is an enjoyable part time for the majority of Australians, seagulls recognises the potential dangers that gambling presents for some people. Unfortunately for some people gambling extends beyond the point of an enjoyable form of entertainment into a gambling problem. People with gambling problems can experience financial issues as well as negative consequences in other areas of their life including their relationships with family and friends, health, employment and even legal issues.
Rather than denying that this problem exists seagulls have always been at the forefront of ensuring that patrons experiencing problems relating to gambling have access to the best and most effective help. That is why in 1998 norths Group was a founding member of the BetSafe group of clubs. BetSafe has engaged experts to ensure that the small percentage of patrons have a safety net to help minimise
the risk of them developing a serious gambling problem and ensure they have access to the best help available 24 hours a day.
When BetSafe was formed back in 1998 there were very limited legislative requirements regarding responsible gambling and the treatment of problem gambling. Rather than do simply what was required by law, seagulls felt a social obligation to ensure that it showed a proper duty-of-care to its patrons. This shows that for the past 17 years seagulls has been proactive in dealing with issues related to problem gambling, rather than formulating a knee jerk response when the issue attracted media attention.
Problem gambling is not a simple matter and therefore problem gamblers require more than a simple solution. For many problem gamblers gambling is used as a form of escape from other negative issues in their lives. Many problem gamblers are in bad relationships, lonely, grieving, stressed, ill, have been abused and the list goes on. It is important that people with gambling problems get help to deal with these underlying issues as well as their mistaken beliefs and financial issues. Without effective help these people are at risk of developing other destructive behaviours such as drug and alcohol abuse.
What is seagulls doing to prevent and help problem gambling?
Rather than simply satisfy legislative requirements and refer patrons to the Gambling Help referral service, patrons at seagulls have access to BetSafe comprehensive 24 hour counselling service.
BetSafe is not a referral service; they employ some of the most experienced counselors in the country and provide free assistance to seagulls patrons through face-to-face counselling as well as over the phone. BetSafe is one of the few counselling services in NSW to provide face-to-face appointments outside of business hours (evenings and weekends) as well as during business hours. BetSafe also has no limits on the number of free sessions provided to patrons – this means that they will do everything they can to help patrons overcome problems relating to gambling.
Counselling is the most effective form of help for problem gambling. It allows people to address any underlying issues and mistaken beliefs to minimise the likelihood of the problem re-emerging. Should you or anyone you know wish to arrange a free and confidential counselling appointment please contact BetSafe’s 24 hour helpline on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723).
Self-exclusion allows a problem gambler to remove the temptation to gamble by restricting their access to gambling. Legislation was introduced in 2001 requiring venues to assist problem gamblers in banning themselves. seagulls had already voluntarily introduced a self-exclusion scheme in 1998 which not only allows patrons to ban themselves from seagulls, but also any other clubs which they nominate. seagulls is one of only a small number of clubs in NSW to be offering this service to patrons for such a long period of time.
Since 1998 the norths Group has assisted more than 250 patrons to ban themselves from gambling at the Club. According to statistics from the recent Productivity Commission Report this number is significantly higher than the average numbers at other venues throughout NSW.
If you would like to arrange to be self-excluded you can do so through one of the following methods: 1) speaking any member of staff at the norths Group at any time of day; 2) contacting BetSafe on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723) and arranging an appointment; or 3) using BetSafe’s online self-exclusion website by visiting www.betsafe.com.au/self_exclusion.
Help for family members
seagulls recognises that problem gambling not only affects the individual with the problem but also family members and other people that are close to the person. It is very common for family members of problem gamblers to be under a lot of stress as they are the ones who need to deal with a lot of the issues stemming from the gambling problem. BetSafe’s counselling service can help family members in dealing with these issues and provide effective strategies on how they can get the problem gambler to seek help.
seagulls is also one of the few venues in NSW to have formalised procedures in place for Third Party Exclusions. norths can arrange to have a problem gambler excluded from gambling if a family member can provide evidence to support their claims. The counselors at BetSafe can help family members in obtaining the necessary evidence to arrange for a Third Party Exclusion.
All staff employed in a gaming capacity at venues throughout NSW are required by law to undertake the Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) course. This course covers the legislative requirements for venues and staff members in relation to the provision of gambling services.
In addition to this all norths Group employees undergo additional training which is provided by BetSafe. Staff are generally trained on a biennial basis to ensure staff are equipped to respond to any requests for assistance. These additional courses are club specific and ensure staff are made aware of the additional forms of help available to patrons of the norths Group and the best ways of accessing help.
BetSafe is an organisation developed specifically to help and minimise problem gambling in the community. It is independent of the gambling and anti-gambling lobbies and, therefore, it is committed to ensuring that the best interests of problem gamblers are looked after at all times.
To remove any perceived conflict of interest that may arise from the Club dealing with problem gambling related incidents, seagulls seeks the advice of BetSafe on the best way to respond to individual incidents that may indicate that a patron has a gambling problem. This may include involuntarily excluding a patron from gambling at the Club if there is clear evidence to indicate that they have a gambling problem.
Policies & procedures
seagulls has adopted and implemented BetSafe’s comprehensive policies and procedures to deal with responsible gambling and problem gambling related matters. These policies and procedures cover everything from credit betting to dealing with gamblers who leave minors unattended to the advertising of gambling.
By following these comprehensive set of policies and procedures ensures that the Club is not just satisfying its legislative requirements but also any community concern surrounding the provision of gambling services.
Additional signage & information
The Club is required by law to display signage throughout the Club promoting responsible gambling and support services to problem gamblers. In addition to this, seagulls displays additional signs, brochures and cards to further promote our commitment to responsible gambling and ensure information is readily available to any patron that may need assistance.
BetSafe group was formed in July 1998 by 11 leading clubs in New South Wales, one of which is norths, to address the issue of problem gambling in the club industry. In conjunction with problem gambling experts, Paul Symond Consultancy, BetSafe developed and implemented Australia’s most comprehensive Responsible Service of Gambling program
Think! About your choices. Call Gambling Help 1800 858 858, A confidential, anonymous and FREE counselling service.
Click here for self exclusion
Betsafe’s contact details:
1800 238 723 (24/7 Free Call)
Responsible Conduct of Gaming Policy
Click here to read our Responsible Conduct of Gaming policy.
Requirement under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006
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