Health Professionals and Media

If doctors, psychologists, lawyers, counsellors, priests or rehabilitation centres make enquiries with Gamblers Anonymous for the first time they will find information specific to their needs on this website. Gamblers Anonymous members are available to welcome newcomers and the health professionals that refer them. We will also co-operate with the media.

Fact: Of the many people who appear at the doors of Gamblers Anonymous, an estimated 30% are referred by professionals.

Care Professionals
Correctional Facility Professionals
Treatment Facilities Professionals
Media and News Professionals
Employee Assistance Professionals

Gamblers Anonymous is available to provide you with information about the fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous. Our policy is to co-operate but not affiliate with outside organizations. We are available to provide information about meetings or general information about Gamblers Anonymous as and when it is requested.

For professionals working with people who have special needs we have easy-to-read larger print pamphlets, literature written in Mandarin and much more.

For enquiries click the CONTACT page

TAFE Queensland helped by the Queensland Regional Service Office

Thursday, 1 December 2016

A call for help from TAFE Queensland South West on how to get the message of help for students in the grip of problem gambling has been met with a warm response from the Queensland Regional Service Office. One generous member hastily put together 5 question flyers for display at the TAFE precinct. Never a dull moment when service calls.

One of Australia’s most prominent lawyers is startled by the success of Gamblers Anonymous

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Well known Sydney identity and lawyer Sam Macedone spoke candidly during the Public Awareness workshop at the One Day Conference in Sydney last November. Sam was sympathetic to the plight of people in addiction and prepared to give them a chance if they need to be represented. He regularly appears on the Today Show and A Current Affair on Channel 9. Sam is often called to speak on high rating talk back radio stations 2UE and 2GB. He spoke about the perils of clients he has represented who had a chronic gambling problem. It was a fascinating insight into the solicitor’s viewpoint. After listening to one of our members Sam said he never knew about “this wonderful fellowship of people.” Sam said he would endorse Gamblers Anonymous if given the opportunity.

A leading Sydney psychotherapist’s blog

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

There is no price on this kind of publicity to make the public aware of Gamblers Anonymous and help sufferers make it to their first meeting. One of Sydney’s prominent Psychotherapist posted this blog after attending the lunch with professionals hosted by Gamblers Anonymous at the 38th National Conference at Novotel, Sydney Brighton Beach

How Australia is leading the world in gambling addiction – my luncheon with Gamblers Anonymous

In my highly exciting life that mainly revolves around people and cats, I sometimes get to do something a bit different – last week, that was to have lunch with the people from Gamblers Anonymous, or GA for short.

This lunch was put on for professionals, to give them an overview of what GA is all about. I am sharing this here because some of the facts about gambling in Australia simply horrified me.

Australia has 0.2% of the world population but 20% (twenty percent!!!!!) of the world’s poker machines. They multiplied when the state governments discovered they were a great way to fill their coffers, as Rev. Tim Costello so eloquently put to us at the lunch; so we now have a state-sanctioned and state-punctionned addiction.

The amount of money that people in Australia lose to gambling is simply staggering (on some poker machines you can “feed in” – read lose – $56,000 in less than 6 hours). For those of you who cannot see the lure of “the pokies”, imagine machines devised with music pictures and all the modern interactive bells and whistles to get you addicted (and yes, psychologists have worked for the manufacturers of poker-machines, to help make them even more addictive). Of course gambling can take many shapes, betting on sports (this is how young blokes first get hooked), the horses, casinos, cards, online gaming – you name it, and someone else than the punter is raking in the money and the state governments take a percentage of it.

How does it start? Well, we had a lovely young lady, who of course shall remain anonymous, share her story with us: some incredible abuse and hardship in her childhood, leaving her isolated and in constant, intense emotional pain. When she sat in front of a poker machine for the first time, with the music and the pull of maybe winning enough to change her life, the loud voices constantly battling it out in her brain became quiet for once.

I won’t take you to the whole cycle of addiction, suffice to say this academic overachiever ended up facing fraud charges in court, as she started stealing from her employer to finance her addiction. The weirdest part was that she didn’t realise that is was an addiction, until the cop who interrogated asked her, surprisingly gently, whether she may have a gambling problem.

He pointed her towards GA, there was a meeting going on around the corner that same day, and this is where her story really starts, because what she found at that first meeting of GA, was a whole community, welcoming her like no-one had ever done before. She found support, practical help, but most of all, she found friends. When before she relied on gambling to deaden her unbearable emotions, suddenly she experienced human kindness.

I have previously written about how research seems to be showing that human connection might be the antidote to addiction. Her story was exactly about that.

We heard some more stories that day, all showing another facet of the addiction, and more facets of what GA stands for. The fact that GA isn’t accepting donations or subsidies (from anyone) tells you a lot about their integrity – they will do what is best for their members, being beholden to no-one else.

Whenever I read about the latest (bad) news, I sometimes feel hopeless.
That lunch with the people from GA has given me back my faith in humanity – we may be capable of the worst, but we also are capable of the best.

Tim Costello applauds Gamblers Anonymous at the 38th National Conference

Monday, 29 August 2016

Guest speaker the Rev. Tim Costello praised Gamblers Anonymous for the work it is doing for people suffering this hideous and cunning disease. Speaking at a “Lunch with Professionals” hosted by Gamblers Anonymous as part of the 38th National Conference at Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach, Tim shared his experience with the peril he has seen first hand and applauded the wonderful work Gamblers Anonymous is doing to put family lives back together again. 19 other professionals and 20 members attended the lunch. Gamblers Anonymous was given a ringing endorsement from Rev. Costello. He said he would make mention of the good work Gamblers Anonymous is doing when he appeared in public.