MELBOURNE Cup fever has officially hit the country, but people are reminded not to get carried away.
As many people are likely to place a bet on the iconic horse race, Minister for Racing Paul Toole has asked that those who gamble do so responsibly.
“Tuesday is a huge day on the racing calendar and we know that people are going to be at work events, there’s going to be various events and we want people to enjoy themselves, to have a good time, but we also want people to act responsibly and to also think about their gambling habits on the day,” he said.
People are encouraged to visit the NSW Government’s Betiquette website, which provides tips about safe gambling and facts about gambling addiction.
There is also a quiz that people can take to assess their gambling risk and a calculator to see the impact poor gambling choices are making on their lifestyle.
“We want people to stay in control and we’ve got some very simple messages,” Mr Toole said.
“Think about how much you are going to bet, don’t bet under the influence [of alcohol] and don’t bet because of peer pressure, so make sure you stay in control and are not influenced by your peers.”
For more advice or support, visit www.betiquette.nsw.gov.au.
According to Lifeline, warning signs that someone has a gambling problem include spending more money and time than intended on gambling, feel guilty and ashamed about gambling, trying to win back losses and missing important things in life such as family time, work, leisure activities and appointments.
This can lead to debt or other financial problems, mental health issues and problems in relationships, which is why people are encouraged to seek help.
Gambling aside, Mr Toole said he hoped everyone enjoyed the spirit of the day.
“I look forward to being involved in a number of events across the [Bathurst] electorate for Melbourne Cup,” he said.