Help with problem gambling

If you need immediate help, call the gambling helpline on 1800 858 858.

You can ask a gambling provider (venue) or Consumer and Business Services (CBS) to bar you from entering an area where gambling takes place. This can include hotels and clubs with gaming machines, and the Adelaide Casino.

You can also ask to be barred from gambling activities such as betting on racing and sport and commercial lotteries - eg x lotto, keno and instant scratch tickets.

You need help with problem gambling

Voluntary barring

There are two ways to voluntarily bar yourself from gambling.

Contact CBS

Staff can discuss your options in person or over the phone. If possible, they will make the barring order the same day to bar you immediately from multiple venues. To get in touch:

A staff member will discuss:

  • your circumstances
  • where you want to be barred from and for how long
  • the details of your gambling
  • what barring involves
  • the best ways to help you take back control.

They will also work with you to complete these forms:

Contact a venue

You can speak to a staff member at a gambling venue and ask them to bar you from gambling immediately at that venue for three months.

You can also choose to be barred:

  • for a longer period of time
  • from multiple venues - you can make this request at one venue without having to contact the other venues.

If you are barred, you may still be able to visit the venue without breaking the law - eg you may be able to have a meal at your local hotel, but you can't enter the gaming room or place a bet on racing.

What happens next

If you ask to be barred from only one venue for three months:

  • you don't need to do anything further
  • the venue will notify CBS, who will contact you to discuss what barring involves and some options that can help.

If you have asked to be barred from multiple venues or for more than three months, your request will be reviewed and your barring confirmed. Until you receive this confirmation you will only be barred from the one venue for three months.

Revoke a voluntary barring

You can for a barring order to be revoked after the minimum amount of time written in the order (usually 12 months).

You want to help someone with a gambling problem

You can help someone you believe may be gambling excessively by initiating a barring order. This can restrict them from gambling or entering a specific area of a venue where gambling takes place. Orders are legally binding and can stop people from:

  • gambling at the casino
  • entering areas in hotels and clubs with gaming machines
  • betting on the races or sport
  • buying commercial lottery tickets.

Who can request an order

Anyone who is concerned about the person's gambling behaviour can initiate a barring order, and you don't need their permission.

Contact CBS

To request a barring order:

Contact a venue

Approach the venue and ask them to bar the person from that venue.

Forms

You must also complete the following form:

3BA - request for involuntary barring (PDF 180KB)

Include this addendum with your request if you need to include more than three venues:

VBY - application for barring addendum (PDF 180KB)

What happens next

When you initiate a barring order, CBS will arrange a conference phone call between you, the barred person and a senior member of staff. This is called a directions hearing and is used to gather information and:

  • validate the barring
  • determine if more activities need to be added
  • determine if more venues need to be added
  • how long the barring should be.

If everyone agrees, the order can be made through the voluntary barring process.

If the barred person doesn't agree, a hearing will be scheduled.

If the venue refuses your request to bar someone, they must notify CBS who will then review the decision.

Hearings

A hearing is an opportunity to discuss the proposed barring.

You need to attend if you are:

  • the person who initiated the barring
  • the barred person.

If the person who needs help with gambling doesn't agree to attend the hearing, an order can be made in some circumstances without them being present.

You can ask people to attend who can:

  • give evidence about the problem
  • give you personal support - eg trusted friend or family member.

You can also bring your lawyer. However, costs can't be awarded between parties.

What you'll need

Everyone will need to bring:

  • photo identification - eg drivers licence
  • any information you think supports your case
  • people who can appear as witnesses.

What happens at the hearing

Hearings are usually informal, but people who are giving evidence must take an oath or affirmation. Witnesses don't need to stay after they've given evidence.

Both the person who initiated the barring and the person who needs help with gambling will have the opportunity to:

  • call witnesses
  • make submissions
  • give evidence.

Hearings are recorded.

Adjournments

The hearing can be cancelled and a new date set if:

  • the person who initiated the barring or the barred person does not turn up for the hearing
  • more information is required from either person
  • a summons has not been served to the person who needs help with gambling.

The hearing must be cancelled if the barred person has a complaint against them under the Domestic Violence Act 1994. A hearing can’t begin until the domestic violence complaint ends.

Outcome of the hearing

The outcome of the hearing and the reasons for the decision will be provided to everyone in writing. If the order is urgent, every attempt will be made to do this straight after the hearing.

A family member has a gambling problem

You can apply for a family protection order if you are a family member in the persons care or control, or are living with them. This may include:

  • a current or former spouse
  • domestic partner
  • child below the age of 18.

Other people can apply on the family’s behalf and these applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Family protection orders

A person can be barred from gambling if it affects anyone who is dependent on them. A barring order can:

  • bar someone from gambling activities and particular venues
  • compel someone to attend counselling
  • have wages paid directly to a family member or into a specific account.

How to apply

Phone  8204 9966 to discuss your options. A staff member will make an appointment to help you fill out and submit your complaint form.

PGA - apply for a family protection order form (PDF 380KB)

You should bring any evidence to the appointment that supports your case.

You can also bring a friend or counsellor to the appointment for support.

What happens next

If the barred person agrees, an order can be placed without a hearing. If they don't agree, there will be a hearing into the need for the order. You will be given the chance to explain the problem and how it affects you.

Hearings

Hearings are usually informal, but people who are giving evidence must take an oath or affirmation. Witnesses don't need to stay after they've given evidence.

Both the person who initiated the barring and the person who needs help with gambling will have the opportunity to:

  • call witnesses
  • make submissions
  • give evidence.

Hearings are recorded.

What you'll need

Everyone needs to bring:

  • photo identification - eg drivers licence
  • any information you think supports your case
  • people who can appear as witnesses.

Adjournments

The hearing can be cancelled and a new date set if:

  • the person who initiated the barring or the person who needs help with gambling do not turn up for the hearing
  • more information is required from either person
  • a summons has not been served to the person who needs help with gambling.

The hearing must be cancelled if the person who needs the help with gambling has a complaint against them under the Domestic Violence Act 1994. The hearing can't begin again until the domestic violence complaint ends.

Contact CBS Liquor and Gaming

Email: liquorandgaming@sa.gov.au

Phone: 131 882

In person:
91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide

Post:
GPO Box 2169
Adelaide SA 5001

Related information

Other websites

Office for problem gambling


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Page last updated 28 February 2019

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/family-and-community/safety-and-health/liquor-and-gambling/responsible-gambling
Last Updated:
28/02/19
Printed on:
14/12/19
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2019
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