14 July 2023

Liquor and gaming authority look to better understand regional issues during Albury visit

| Jarryd Rowley
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Man at pokie

The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority will be visiting Albury next week to better understand the risks that drinking and gambling have on regional communities. Photo: iStock/Instants.

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) will be visiting several health and safety organisations in Albury between 18 and 20 July to better understand regional issues in relation to drinking and gambling.

Results found from ILGA’s visit will help shape their 2024 and beyond Regional Engagement Strategy which looks to identify and address the best way to deliver, control and monitor liquor and gaming in regional towns.

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ILGA previously visited Wagga Wagga in September of 2022 when they spoke to several organisations including Riverina Police District, Wagga Wagga Liquor Accord, Wagga Wagga City Council, Wagga Wagga Women’s Health Centre, and a group of local Aboriginal elders.

According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies and ILGA, men and women in regional towns are more likely to be considered ‘at risk’ of harmful behaviours as a result of drinking and gambling.

Recent studies showed people in regional areas who consistently gambled were two times more likely to face financial stress, 1.5 times more likely to develop depression and 1.25 times more likely to drink alcohol at harmful levels.

One in four men who gambled (around 739,511 Australian men) was classified as being at risk of, or experiencing, problem gambling in the past year.

ILGA chairperson Caroline Lamb said regional visits were important to ensure the authority was responsive to the unique needs of each community it served.

“This visit is in line with ILGA’s goal of engaging with different communities and stakeholders to ensure its regulatory decision-making is well informed and relevant,” Ms Lamb said.

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Ms Lamb said the authority looked forward to working closely with the Albury community and building strong relationships that would help ILGA to make a positive impact in the region.

“By listening to locals’ concerns, we can be confident that our future decisions are fair, balanced and well suited to the needs of the people in the area,” Ms Lamb said.

“We will be meeting with a range of groups over a two-day period to understand what matters to the Albury community when it comes to the impacts of liquor and gaming on crime, health and local industry.

“These consistent visits to regional towns give us firsthand accounts to support the data and help us make decisions in the public interest.”

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