QUEENSLAND Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has launched Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Brisbane.
QUEENSLAND Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has launched Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Brisbane. Max Fleet

Bleijie pushes gambling awareness after upping spend limit

ATTORNEY-General Jarrod Bleijie has launched Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, less than six months after government reforms upped the amount gamblers could feed into poker machines.

At a Brisbane Hotel, Mr Bleijie said Australians had to be careful not to "get in over our heads".

"Like any addiction, gambling can cause irreparable damage to families and individuals, so it's vital we provide as much support as possible to anyone who feels they may be at risk," he said.

"This year, the Queensland Government has invested more than $5 million towards face-to-face, telephone, online and residential problem gambling treatment services, to ensure confidential help is available to those who need it most."

According to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, those playing Queensland pokies in April lost a total of $164.6 million.

The theme of this year's campaign will be "Is your gambling risky or responsible?" - it will run until Sunday.

The sensible gambling push is being supported by former AFL player David Schwartz, who has spoken openly about his own battles with gambling addiction.

He said those in the depths of addiction needed to "take that important first step for themselves or a loved one who may be risking too much".

Government reforms in late 2013 meant gamblers could now feed $100 notes into gaming machines.

Before that, nothing larger than a $20 note was allowed.

The total able to be spent at one time remained unchanged at $100.

In New South Wales and Victoria, these limits are set at $10,000 and $1000 respectively.

Mr Bleijie has previously said there is no evidence the changes have led to a spike in spending on poker machines.

For those needing information or help - contact the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 at any time or visit www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.
 


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