The New South Wales state government has launched a multicultural gambling awareness campaign aimed at helping migrant Australian communities kick the habit through several bespoke initiatives.
The campaign launched this week will encourage people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to recognise gambling harm and to seek help.
The Number that Changed My Life awareness campaign uses insights gained from research and extensive consultation with gambling counsellors who work with multicultural clients.
To date, bespoke campaigns have been developed for the Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean and Indian communities.
While migrant Australians are less likely to participate in gambling than the overall population, those who gamble are more likely to experience problems.
“Gambling is an issue for people from all walks of life, however, research shows that people from a migrant background face different issues and significant barriers in seeking help,” Office of Responsible Gambling, director Natalie Wright said in a media statement.
“When someone from a culturally diverse background has a problem with gambling, they often don’t recognise that it’s an issue.
“Even when they do, shame and stigma can stop them from getting help.
“It’s often friends and family who initiate help-seeking,” she added.
While tailored for each community, the campaign also draws on insights that are prevalent across all communities.
Common across cultures, the significant stigma attached to excessive gambling is a major barrier to help-seeking.
Recognising that focusing on the negative consequences may further propel denial and avoidance, the campaign highlights success stories to build hope and encourage the audience to seek help, reaffirming that seeking help can change their lives.
Resources were developed to support the gambler and their family and friends, recognising the collective nature of many cultures.
This dual approach has been designed to break down stigma and foster a supportive environment that encourages help-seeking.
“Gambling harm doesn’t just affect the individual, it also impacts their loved ones,” said Wright.
“This tailored and targeted initiative will help people from diverse backgrounds to recognise when gambling might be a problem and seek help, whether for themselves or for someone they love.
“There is no shame in recognising that you, or someone you love, maybe gambling excessively and need help.
“It shows strength.
“Free, confidential support is available in your language.
“The counsellors aren’t there to judge, they’re there to help.”
The campaigns will air on all media channels including ethnic print, radio, TV, digital, online video and OOH (out of home), and through community engagement initiatives.
Information support materials are available at www.gambleaware.nsw.gov.au
If you or someone you love is affected by gambling, call 1800 858 858 for free, confidential help.