Gam­ble Free Day raises harm aware­ness

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

SEND­ING A MES­SAGE: Anti-gam­ing cam­paign­ers (pic­tured) took to the streets of Toko­roa ear­lier this month to recog­nise Gam­ble Free Day.

The Sal­va­tion Army had a stall out­side the West­pac Bank on Bridge St.

Gam­ble Free Day was held on Septem­ber 1; its pur­pose was to raise aware­ness of the harm gam­bling could cause fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

The stall had in­for­ma­tion pam­phlets, pens and bags, which were handed out, and a de­com­mis­sioned pokie ma­chine formed part of the dis­play. In the past 12 months more than $7 mil­lion have been spent in pokie ma­chines in the South Waikato re­gion.

Sal­va­tion Army com­mu­nity min­istries man­ager Colin Bri­dle said the day was also a chance to thank com­mu­nity groups and in­di­vid­u­als who sent sub­mis­sions to South Waikato District Coun­cil ear­lier this year when the coun­cil re­viewed its class four gam­bling pol­icy.

‘‘This re­sulted in South Waikato District Coun­cil’s sink­ing lid pol­icy,’’ he said.

‘‘Con­grat­u­la­tions to South Waikato District Coun­cil. We hope this will lead to a re­duc­tion in so­cial harm to fam­i­lies and the com­mu­nity over time. This was a great com­mu­nity ef­fort.’’

Oa­sis Coun­selling is avail­able for those seek­ing help or ad­vice about prob­lem gam­bling ei­ther for them­selves or a fam­ily mem­ber. For more in­for­ma­tion call (07) 886 9812.

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