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Innovative Approach from Salvation Army in Australia: Placin
Innovative Approach from Salvation Army in Australia: Placing Chaplain in Gambling Club
The Salvation Army has announced it is trialling a new approach to identifying and assisting problem gamblers within the clubs environment.
Speaking about the trial, which will see a uniformed Salvation Army chaplain visiting a Central Coast club for up to 15 hours a week, Major Paul Moulds, the Australia Eastern Territory’s Director of Social Programs, says it provides the Army with an opportunity to do what it does best: build relationships with people.
“This is all about visibility and proximity. The Salvation Army has always been on the front line in the places where people are struggling and doing it tough,” says Major Moulds.
“This initiative will allow The Salvation Army to place a trained person directly in the club environment where we know some people are struggling with all sorts of life issues, including addiction to gambling.
“The chaplain will be available to give non-judgmental support and provide referrals, practical help and intervention to any of the staff or club patrons. They will be particularly equipped to provide support to people who have gambling addictions.”
The Salvation Army is fully funding the trial and Clubs NSW is supporting it by providing access to the Mingara Club.
“We are totally committed to supporting measures that reduce the harm done by poker machines,” Major Moulds says.
“Our addiction treatment services treat hundreds of people each year whose lives have been devastated by the impact of gambling. This new initiative is one small contribution we can make to test new approaches to assisting people experiencing gambling addiction and secondary issues resulting from their gambling patterns.”
The Australia Eastern Territory has been supportive of a trial of poker machine mandatory pre-commitment, and is also backing any moves to investigate the viability and effectiveness of a proposal to cap pokies bets to $1 a spin.
The club chaplaincy trial is part of The Salvation Army’s commitment to seek new and innovative methods of limiting and removing the social implications of problematic gambling.
© 2012 The Salvation Army
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