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

To voluntarily bar yourself from gambling, contact CBS or speak to a staff member at a gambling venue.

Contact CBS

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. You can contact CBS by:

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; for example, 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 have asked to be barred from only one venue for three months:

  • you don't need to do anything further
  • the venue will notify CBS
  • CBS 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, CBS will review your barring request and you will receive confirmation of your barring. Until you receive this confirmation you will only be barred from the one venue for three months.

If you have contacted CBS directly to request to be barred, the CBS staff member will discuss with you:

  • 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.

The CBS staff member will work with you to complete the following forms:

CBS staff can make the barring order the same day, stating the time frame and the venue from which you are barred. You will receive confirmation of this barring order.

Revoke a voluntary barring

You can ask CBS to revoke a barring order 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.

To request a barring order you can either:

  • contact CBS by:
  • approach the venue and ask them to bar the person from that venue.

You must also complete the following form:

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

Include the addendum with your request if you need to include more than three venues.

VBY - application for barring addendum (PDF 180KB)

You can ring CBS and ask to speak with someone at any time.

What happens next

When you ask CBS or the venue to bar an individual, CBS will arrange a conference phone call between you, the barred person and a senior member of our 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, CBS will schedule a hearing.

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

Please note that if the person who needs help with gambling doesn't agree to attend the hearing, in some circumstances an order will be made 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, CBS does not have the power to award costs 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. However, if the order is urgent CBS will attempt to make it available 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

CBS can bar someone 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

Call CBS on 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, CBS will conduct 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 will need 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


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:
20/10/19
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2019
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