What is ClubSafe?
ClubSafe, developed by ClubsNSW – the club movement’s peak industry body, is a program that offers member clubs a range of support products and services designed to develop and maintain responsible gambling environments.
Developed at a cost of more than $1 million dollars, the program was launched in July 2000 after 18 months of independent research and development by the Australian Institute of Gambling Research, led by well-known gambling academic, Professor Jan MacMillan.
Under the program, members are encouraged to take a proactive approach to the management of problem gambling issues. The program assists clubs to implement policies and procedures, which encourage patrons to make responsible decisions to minimise gambling, associated harm. All initiatives are guided by harm minimisation strategies to fall in line with the Responsible Conduct of Gambling legislation, and go beyond these measures with a Code of Practice, approved by the Minister for Gaming and Racing in 2000.
What does ClubSafe mean for club patrons?
The measures that the ClubSafe program introduces are guided by the ideals of educating patrons about the nature of problem gambling, creating environments where responsible gambling practices are promoted and enabling access to services and mechanisms that allow a patron with a gambling problem to initiate some control with their gambling.
When a patron enters a ClubSafe club, they will immediately notice the various responsible gambling mechanisms in place.
For instance, some of the most notable measures include patron communications which ensure patrons are aware of the responsible gambling policies and procedures operating in the club, and the mechanisms available to them to control their gambling if required.
The club will ensure that complaints mechanisms; harm minimising financial procedures; responsible advertising and promotional standards are in place.
ClubSafe members have a Self Exclusion Scheme available to patrons, and have information on how to deal with approaches from patrons to self-exclude. The program has a referral mechanism in place to link patrons who feel they may need gambling counselling assistance with an appropriate counselling service, via a comprehensive counselling service directory.
The program devotes energy into continual research and development of new products and services in response to changing needs and responsible gambling progressions.
In response to these factors, ClubsNSW opened discussions in 2001 with several counselling organisations to develop a formal relationship network. The result is a new program currently in development- the ClubSafe Community Liaison Networks.
What are the Community Liaison Networks?
The idea behind the Community Liaison Networks is to formalise links already in place in the ClubSafe program and go a step beyond.
The networks are founded on the belief that a co-ordinated and co-operative approach to problem gambling by local gambling operators and local gambling counselling support services will deliver the best outcomes for all parties. The idea for the program commenced well before the introduction of similar measures in the newly introduced Gaming Machine Act, however ClubsNSW are gratified that the new legislation supports this initiative.
The vision for the Community Liaison Networks goes beyond legislative requirements for clubs to have arrangements with counselling services.
Rather than just providing a link, the networks will provide opportunities for clubs to regularly meet with problem gambling counselling services and community groups supporting problem gamblers and their families. It is hoped that through this process, clubs will gain a greater understanding of community expectations to problem gambling, while building trust and communication between clubs and problem gambling counselling services.
At the same time the promotion of local problem gambling counselling services will also become more prominent in clubs. While the finer points of this arrangement are still in negotiation it is hoped to be up and running mid year. Look out for more information, which will be sent direct to your organisation, in the coming months.
G-line (NSW) is a 24-hour, 7 days a week, statewide telephone helpline offering crisis counselling for problem gamblers, their families, friends and others. It is available to anyone in NSW who wants to talk to a trained counsellor about their own, or someone else’s, gambling problem.
According to G-Line, some indicators of problem gambling are:
To access G-line, call 1800 633 635.