Free counselling offered for problem gambling
A free counselling service for Peninsula residents who may be struggling with a gambling problem is being promoted at Woy Woy.
The free counselling service, Gambling Solutions Central Coast, is hosted by Coast Community Connections at the Peninsula Community Centre for anyone affected by a gambling problem.
Coast Community Connections president Ms Sharryn Brownlee said: "It is a problem in our community that is still out of control, with more needing to be done to clamp down on the industry."
"With the festive season just finished and 2019 now well underway, it's an important time to remember that the holiday season can be one of the most difficult times for problem gamblers, with a multitude of temptations to bet on sport and other games of chance," said.
"Australians lose billions of dollars each year to gambling."
The service is available to anyone struggling with a gambling problem or for those affected by a loved ones gambling problem, said counsellor Mr Chris Davidson.
He said gambling was a problem many local people struggled to deal with.
"This year alone, we've counselled 48 people just from Umina, Ettalong and Woy Woy.
"Last year we had over 180 clients.
"Gambling addiction is more common than people believe," he said.
According to Mr Davidson, the free service was proving immensely helpful to Peninsula residents as gambling became more accessible.
"We've seen a big increase in gambling issues which correlates with the rise of online gambling.
"We're also seeing a lot more young people seeking help for gambling issues too," Mr Davidson said.
Mr Davidson said Gambling Solutions was working on a series of early intervention resources to be available later in the year to assist local young people affected by gambling.
Counselling sessions are available at the service's office on Ross St, Woy Woy, by appointment on 4344 7992.
Social media, 2 Feb 2019
Sharryn Brownlee, Coast Community Connections
Interview, 6 Feb 2019
Chris Davdison, Central Coast Gambling Solutions
Reporter: Dilon Luke