Protecting your customers from gambling harm when reopening after COVID-19 closures
As venues reopen for gaming following business closures due to coronavirus (COVID-19), it is important to recognise that some patrons may be at heightened risk of gambling harm.
Many of your patrons have experienced increased stress due to the effects of COVID-19, including unemployment, isolation, loneliness, anxiety and depression. These are all factors that can contribute to gambling problems.
For some, an urge to gamble will have built up over the closure period, which may also put them at greater risk of gambling harm.
For others, venue closures have presented a unique opportunity to start addressing their gambling problem and you have an important role in supporting them to maintain this momentum.
How to support your patrons as you reopen
These are some ideas for how you can support your patrons as you reopen.
Communicate options for support
Use loyalty and membership databases and venue communications to tell patrons about self-exclusion and the free counselling, support and advice that is available from Queensland's Gambling Help services.
Look for suggested messaging from your peak industry body, or share the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation’s Facebook posts on your venue's social media accounts.
Ensure that you have visible and prominent in-venue posters promoting where to get help for gambling problems and have player information materials available to assist your patrons with their gambling decisions. Download responsible gaming signage and read more about gambling harm minimisation campaigns.
Check that your venue's self-exclusion processes are up to date and that staff know them.
A patron can also set up a self-exclusion (including a multi-venue self-exclusion) remotely via a Gambling Help service, without physically entering a venue, and staff must process these requests promptly. Read the remote gambling self-exclusion process for gaming venues.
Provide gambling services responsibly
As in-venue gambling services restart, it's important you remember to:
- promote your venue responsibly - do not use your loyalty and customer contact databases to encourage an immediate return to gambling
- keep a close eye out for patrons at risk of gambling problems. With fewer gamblers permitted in the gambling space at one time, your staff will have a greater level of awareness of each gambler
- consider how your venue intends to provide spaces that allow for social distancing and are suitable for private conversations with gamblers who may be seeking information on self-exclusion or showing signs of harm
- ask your staff to interact regularly with gaming room patrons and encourage them to take breaks and head home on time. By interacting early and frequently, you can get to know patrons and more easily identify who may be at increased risk of harm
- use the High stakes training video series and other resources to run responsible service of gambling refresher training with staff. This will help them recognise warning signs of problem gambling and show them how to interact with patrons and concerned friends and family members
- record any concerns about a gambler's behaviour - this will enable you to create an accurate picture of their gambling patterns
- use the Queensland responsible gambling Code of Practice resource manual for your sector to guide responsible operations
- reach out to your local Gambling Help service. They can provide a range of useful tools, advice and support for you, your staff, and patrons. Make sure you feel confident about how to refer people to get help.
- Last reviewed: 29 Jun 2020
- Last updated: 29 Jun 2020
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