As a community organisation we are committed to providing a safe and responsible environment for all members and guests.
Whilst gambling is an enjoyable past time for the majority of Australians we recognise the potential dangers that gambling presents for some people. Unfortunately for some people gambling extends beyond the point of an enjoyable form of entertainment and 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.
Wests Illawarra Responsible Gambling Policy Statement
Wests Illawarra (the Club) is committed to providing a consistently high standard of customer service in all aspects of our operations, including the provision of gaming. The Club will ensure the provision and use of gambling products occurs in a safe and enjoyable manner. Customer welfare and sustainable gambling shall be a high priority. Responsible gambling and harm minimisation measures will be fully compliant with the Club Gaming Code of Practice. The Club will also promote the social and economic benefits of responsible gambling and the gaming industry.
What we are doing to prevent and help problem gambling?
Rather than simply satisfy legislative requirements and refer patrons to the Gambling Help referral service, patrons of Wests Illawarra have access to BetSafe comprehensive 24 hour counselling service.
BetSafe is not a referral service; they employ experienced counsellors and provide free assistance to patrons of Wests Illawarra 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 need 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. If you would like to arrange to be self-excluded you can do so through one of the following methods:
1. speaking to any member of staff at Wests Illawarra at any time of day;
2. contacting BetSafe on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723) and arranging an appointment
3. using BetSafe’s online self-exclusion website by visiting www.betsafe.com.au/self_exclusion
Help for family members
We recognise 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.
Wests Illawarra is also one of the few venues in NSW to have formalised procedures in place for Third Party Exclusions. We can arrange to have a problem gambler excluded from gambling if a family member can provide evidence to support their claims. The counsellors 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 Wests Illawarra 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 Wests Illawarra 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, Wests Illawarra 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
We have 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 provides optional Voluntary Pre-Commitment (VPC) features to members which allows a player to set, manage and track their gaming activity. The following limits are available for a player when they opt in to VPC – Daily Time Limit, Daily Spend Limit, Weekly Spend Limit.
Player Activity Statements
Player activity statements which detail gaming machine activity on a monthly basis are available to members on request. To request a player activity statement you should see staff at reception or contact us online – https://www.westsillawarra.com.au/contact/. Player activity statements can only be provided to the named member and must be collected in person with suitable identification.
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 we display 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.
Support and Self-help groups
- BETSAFE: BetSafe’s 24 hour helpline – 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723)
- GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS: 24hr help line: 02 9564 1574 Gamblers Anonymous is a twelve-step recovery program and provides a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere where you can share what you’re going through and get feedback and advice from fellow gamblers who understand your problem.
- GAM ANON: Support for friends and family of people with problematic gambling
- GAMBLING HELP: 1800 858 858 Free advice, referral and treatment information
- KNOW YOUR ODDS: Informs gamblers how commercial games of chance really work
Services for related problems
- WESLEY CREDITLINE FINANCIAL COUNSELLING SERVICE: Provides a free financial counselling service Ph: 9263 5577
- LEGAL AID: Free legal advice, assistance and representation for those who qualify Ph: 1300 888 529
- FINANCIAL COUNSELLORS ASSOCIATION OF NSW: Contains a list of financial counsellors
- RELATIONSHIPS AUSTRALIA: Offering relationship counselling services