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Responsible Gambling Awareness Week

Thursday, 7th May, 2009

Eye-catching drink coasters, posters and staff badges will be flourished in local pubs and clubs next week as venues join with the State Government to promote Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

The pop-art style coasters are the result of a state-wide design competition for highschoolstudents. Winning designer, Isobel Nutt, 15, who hails from Woodburn on the north coast, said she was inspired by Andy Warhol and her "drama queen sister" to create the work. More than a million pieces of print material will appear in venues across the State this week. ClubsNSW, the Australian Hotels Association (NSW) and the NSW Government have worked together on the project. The Government funds free Gambling Help services, including a 24- hour phone line, self-help and online and face to face counselling. In Far Western NSW, personal Gambling Help services are available through Lifeline Broken Hill. Gambling Help counsellor, Di Merritt, from the Lifeline Problem Gambling Program, said that other awareness activities during the week will include the launch of a new resource for TAFE and high school counsellors. "This is a great opportunity to take our message inside venues and reach millions of people this week. "Our local clubs and pubs have been great in supporting us." Bar rier Social Democratic Club Manager, Karren Howe, said that local pubs and clubs were keen to take part in Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

"By talking about problem gambling, we can promote existing counselling services as well as get people thinking about how much they can afford to gamble, before it becomes a problem.

"The more we talk about problem gambling, the more we can remove the stigma that still surrounds it and ensure that the people who need help, get help," Ms Howe said.

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