Wednesday, 16 May 2012
VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT BUILDS YOUTH GAMBLING AWARENESS SKILLS
Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien has addressed a forum where young Victorians had the chance to discuss the important issue of problem gambling as a part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.
Speaking at the Forum at Federation Square yesterday morning, Mr O’Brien said research showed that young people are increasingly exposed to gambling advertising, especially within sporting contexts.
“With increased exposure to advertising from gambling operators, youth gambling is a growing area of concern,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This forum was designed to generate discussion about this public health issue and provide some guidance about how gambling advertising can be examined with a critical eye.
“We also want young people to be equipped with the skills they need to make responsible choices when they are old enough to gamble – which means understanding the need to maintain balance and control and always looking out for your mates.
“The forum was also about getting the views of young people on the issue of gambling advertising, the relationship between sports and gambling and the internet, technology and gambling.
“The outcome of the forum will assist future community education strategies focused on young people with a view to preventing gambling becoming an issue,” Mr O’Brien said.
The forum featured Dr Samantha Thomas, Senior Research Fellow, Monash University, who provided practical demonstrations of the marketing techniques used to attract young people to gambling.
Canadian gambling experts, Dr Jennifer Reynolds and Ms Kim Charteris, were also involved in the forum. Specialising in problem gambling prevention, education and research, both have produced a number of key research projects in the areas of gambling and public health, youth gambling prevention using the internet, commercial gambling advertising, youth gambling and web2.0. A particular focus will be a youth-driven documentary entitled Deal Me In, which examines how gambling influences the lives of
Mr O’Brien said Victorians should heed the message of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week:
• Set a limit and stick to it;
• Take just your allocated amount of money; and
• Don’t let gambling take over your life.
In its seventh year, RGAW is a unique collaboration involving the Victorian Government, local governments, the gaming industry and community groups working together to raise community awareness of the importance of a responsible approach to gambling. The week runs from 14 to 20 May 2012.