Vic Gambling Foundation Preempts Inquiry
24 July 2012 at 12:03 pm
The Victorian Government has launched the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
The Victorian Government has launched the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation on the back of a statewide inquiry into problem gambling.
The Minister for Gambling, Michael O’Brien,says the Foundation is the nation’s first independent body dedicated to preventing and treating problem gambling and confirms Victoria as a national leader in harm minimisation and prevention programs.
In June this year the Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells initiated a statewide inquiry into problem gambling to establish the “the true social and economic costs of problem gambling”.
The Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC), as an independent body, is currently undertaking the inquiry with a final report to be ready by December.
“Our investment of $150 million over four years is the largest commitment to combat problem gambling in Australian history,” O?Brien said referring to the new Foundation.
“We want people to be aware of the need to look after your mates and let them know that there are free and confidential services available if they would like assistance controlling their gambling.”
The announcement also coincides with the commencement of a new statewide media campaign targeting male problem gamblers aged 25-39 called ‘I lost my best mate and then he called’.
Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has urged people who are falling victim of gambling to seek help from counselling and other services in their local community.
“The experience of our counsellors is that problem gamblers are generally ashamed of their behaviour and keep it hidden. They need help but can’t do it on their own,” Sue Yorston, Manager of RAV’s Ballarat Centre said.
“The availability of gambling 24 x 7 on mobile devices such as smartphones or via the internet also enables people to keep their gambling secret.”
The Responsible Gambling Foundation Board is chaired by Professor Bruce Singh AM, supported by Michael Ball AM as Deputy Chair. Board members have been selected from each of the parliamentary Liberal, National and Labor parties.