Note: As Victoria finds itself in lockdown some people may understandably be experiencing additional stress or anxiety which may be making it difficult to manage their gambling. If you find yourself struggling we encourage you to reach out, we are here to support you.
We understand that many people in our community are feeling anxious about the spread of COVID-19, it's economic and social impacts. We’ve compiled some resources to help you with any problems or concerns you may be experiencing.
Remember if you need support our counsellors are available on webchat 24/7, or you can call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 to speak to someone in your state.
Last Updated 2 June 2021
There is a lot of information about this virus and this information becomes more accurate as more research is done and medical treatment become better informed. However inaccurate information is available on some social media websites. We suggest you minimise the sources of information to help you keep a clear view of the situation. The Commonwealth and State Government websites are the best places to get valid, up to date information in your language.
Australian Government: COVID-19 health alert
Self-isolation, quarantine or lockdown
Restrictions have relaxed for most Australians, the current situation in Victoria demonstrates how quickly COVID-19 can resurge and pose serious health risks.
Test your knowledge of COVID-19
Preparing for the possibility of relaxing of restrictions can also bring its own anxieties.
Read our blogs which have useful strategies to keep you in check:
- Playing the market: Financial anxiety and your stock portfolio
- The biggest self-exclusion: Involuntary exclusion in the age of coronavirus
- Keep your gambling on lockdown: 7 tips to stay in control as venues reopen and
- A dangerous combination: When drinking and gambling come together
You can find more up-to-date information on your state’s current lockdown status here:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- Western Australia
Venue closures and restricted reopening
For some, going to the local venue, casino or TAB has been a part of their social life and they are looking forward to the easing of restrictions. For others however, the closure of the venues has been a welcome respite and many people report that they are reassessing their need to gamble on poker machines or in casinos.
Many have used the time of social distancing as an opportunity to put strategies in place so their money is protected if they decide to return. You may be interested to read the stories some of these people have posted on Facebook.
It is worth remembering that while the impulse to gamble may return, this does not mean you need to gamble in response. There is help available in the our self-help modules and further help at Gambler’s Help.
Gambling Help services
Throughout the restriction period, many Gambling Help and other social and community services changed the way they operated. As restrictions ease in most states and territories services are considering how they will deliver treatment in the future and may offer a combination of face-to-face appointments and phone appointments. We recommend you check with your local service to see what they are offering, especially if you have changed from face-to-face contact with your counsellor to phone counselling and would like to go back to face-to-face appointments.
Give us a call on 1800 858 858 or chat to us online if you’d like to get in touch with a Gambling Help counsellor.
COVID and Gambling Help in Community Languages
Information on the COVID situation is available from the Government sites listed above. If you or a family member would benefit from Gambling information available in a community language, we can recommend you look at the following sites:
If you are struggling financially, don’t be tempted to gamble ‘to make money’. That you can make money from gambling is a myth. Investigate the assistance that is available for you from the Commonwealth government and from your local State government. Measures have been introduced to assist individuals, families or businesses affected by the Coronavirus. These measures are evolving rapidly and are available to many people and businesses who would not have qualified for financial assistance in the past.
MoneySmart has tips for managing your money generally and through this unusual time:
Money and debt management
This can be a good time to take stock of how you spend money and learn more about financial management. Here are some resources to help you get started:
It is also worth noting that some of the major banks have introduced measures to block gambling transactions on credit and debit cards.
You can also reach out to a Gambling Help service to speak to a financial counsellor. Many services are now offering financial counselling by phone or video chat. Call 1800 858 858 or talk to a counsellor online.
Over the past weeks, many alternate sources of community engagement have been developed and with the easing of restrictions, more are becoming available. You will have developed your own ways of managing your time over the past weeks and we recommend that you continue these activities and continue to explore new ones before returning to going to a venue or turning to unknown online gambling options, which have hidden dangers.
While there has been a lot of information on looking after yourself, this blog is a good place to start if you are in need of ideas.
Read more on how to avoid the hidden dangers of online gambling
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Some people may find that they increase their consumption of alcohol and other drugs while in quarantine or self-isolating. Please visit Counselling Online to learn more about alcohol and other drugs in the time of COVID-19:
Counselling Online COVID-19 Support Information
- National Coronavirus Helpline offers information on coronavirus 24/7 at 1800 020 080.
- 1800Respect offers support related to sexual assault, family or intimate partner violence.
- SANE Australia offers counselling and support for people experiencing or caring for mental illness.
- Suicide Callback Service also offers 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people concerned about suicide.
- Lifeline 13 11 14 offers 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention counselling.
- Counselling Online offers 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people who are affected by alcohol and other drugs.
- National Debt Helpline is a telephone line available Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm to discuss any problems related to debt.
- Headspace offer an online and telephone counselling service for young people 12–25 who are concerned about mental health issues.
- Kids Helpline is a free helpline for young people 5–25 to confidentially discuss any problem.
- QLife offers a free counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing any issue that may affect their health and wellbeing. Available 3:00 pm to 12:00 am.