Connect with more from life

The pokies are re-opening, but there really is more to life.

What activities can you discover to replace gambling?

Over the past 18 months, gaming (pokies) venue doors have been mostly shut.

Emerging from lockdown gives us a unique opportunity to hit the 'reset' button and find new ways to connect with life.

For some, this forced closure has acted as a type of circuit-breaker, an opportunity to have a break from thinking about gambling.  It’s been a time of change.  

Many people have cherished the time away from the machines and found alternative activities to fill the time, relax and de-stress away from gambling.

The pokies are a source of significant struggle for many.  In southern metropolitan Melbourne, people lost $1.8 million every day at the pokies between 2019 and 2020.  

But it’s not just money people are losing - gambling is linked to stress, mental illness, substance abuse, relationship breakdown and many other difficulties.

As we welcome the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions across the community we know that the pokies reopening can be a challenge for many.  New routines and habits away from gambling may be put to the test.

If gambling is a struggle for you, a family member or friend, now’s the time to explore what else is out there.  There are many alternative activities that can give you some excitement, fill in the hours or help take your mind off your worries.  The key is to make them easy, affordable, interesting and fun.  And that’s where your local council can help.

Your local council hosts a network of community groups, libraries, community centres, neighborhood houses and volunteering roles that provide endless opportunities for people to connect, create, learn, relax, move and simply enjoy life.

We don’t get many opportunities in life to hit the ‘reset’ button, but this could be one of those moments.

Check out all the free and affordable activities available close to home by visiting your local council’s website.

If you would like support to make a change or support someone you care about, contact Gambler’s Help Southern by calling 03) 9575 5353 or visit:https://gamblershelpsouthern.org.au/

A range of self-help tools and resources are also available at www.gamblershelpsouthern.org.au 

Supported by Gambler’s Help Southern, a program of Connect Health & Community.

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