RSL lands a TAB win

BUNDABERG RSL's general manager Col Rankin will get a Christmas present he has waited six-and-a-half years for, with a TAB betting facility to be installed at the venue in December.

But the move has prompted Bundaberg Lifeline general manager Richard Johnson to warn people of the financial and emotional costs of gambling.

The RSL manager said the TAB installation brought his venue into line with 13 other facilities around Bundaberg.

“We're only providing something that is provided everywhere else,” Mr Rankin said.

“They can still (gamble) over the phone or online, which is probably more dangerous, because there's no supervision of their spending, whereas here there is.

“Nowadays you can go online and play blackjack, pokies or poker with your credit card.

“How dangerous is that?”

Mr Rankin said the TAB would be set up in the Changi bar area, with two betting terminals, television screens and an information portal.

“It's been very well received by our patrons,” he said.

But Lifeline's Mr Johnson has warned that a gambling addiction can creep up on people.

“Wherever gambling is available it needs to be monitored carefully and managed responsibly,” he said.

“The RSL club is quite a responsible organisation that will abide by gambling laws.

“It's amazing that the Australian culture has a love affair with gambling.”

Mr Johnson said people did not have to battle a gambling addiction on their own.

“If people do find themselves struggling with gambling we have people who can help and have had positive results in helping people unravel themselves from the tangled mess they find themselves ensnared in,” Mr Johnson said.

Paul Scully, Lifeline Fraser district and Wide Bay and Burnett area general manager, said the Wide Bay was an area of concern.

“As a low socio-economic area, people can't afford these social recreational (gambling) activities,” Mr Fraser said.

“Some of these appear to be cheap options, but once a person is caught up in problem gambling they can't afford it.”

He said while gamblers do tend to favour certain types of gaming products, no one product in particular was worse than another.

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