Ever check the sporting odds while at work? Or on a day at the races, go over your spending limit? Or feel a tinge of guilt after a night at the pokies?
Gambling Victorians will be told to be on the lookout for these and other early signs of risky gambling behaviour thanks to a new advertising campaign airing today.
The Harm from gambling starts earlier than you think campaign is the latest initiative of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) targeting ‘moderate-risk’ gamblers.
Research last year shows the overwhelming majority of gamblers who experience harm are not problem gamblers, but fall into the low or moderate risk categories.
The aim is to provide gamblers with the tools they need to identify early signs of gambling harm and take action to prevent it and ward off further serious gambling addiction.
Information on how to keep gambling in check and an interactive harm quiz is available at betcheck.vic.gov.au, which also went live today. Those who are experiencing more serious harm will be directed via the site to extra support from Gambler’s Help agencies around Victoria.
Harm from gambling can cause a variety of issues, including health problems, emotional distress, relationship difficulties, financial burdens, as well as negatively impacting work performance.
The Andrews Labor Government has provided funding of $148 million over four years to the VRGF which has initiatives to prevent, reduce and treat gambling harm in Victoria.
This includes community awareness campaigns, community education programs in sporting clubs, schools and community organisations, and funding for Gambler’s Help counselling services provided online, over the telephone and in 108 locations across Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz
“Sometimes the warning signs can be innocuous and easy to miss. It can be as simple as coming home feeling guilty after playing the pokies.”
“It’s vital we empower and educate all gamblers about the potential warning signs so they can really reflect on their own behaviour and act early to prevent serious addiction.”
“I applaud this campaign for taking a different tack and giving people the tools they need to help themselves and their families.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Acting Chief Executive Officer Craig Swift
“Through Harm from gambling starts earlier than you think we are reaching out to people who may be gambling in a risky way and helping them identify the many different ways people can be harmed by gambling.”
“When we can intervene early to prevent harm from gambling, it’s good for the individual, their family and the community.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020