Thursday, 17 May 2012
VENUE SUPPORT PROGRAM PROVING A SUCCESS
Minister for Gaming Michael O'Brien today congratulated Gambler's Health Southern for its work in assisting problem gamblers to cope with and overcome their gambling addiction.
Speaking at a function as a part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW), Mr O’Brien said the Gambler’s Help Venue Support Program was a critical aspect of the Victorian Government’s efforts to foster a safe and responsible gambling culture.
While in opposition, the Liberal-Nationals Coalition secured annual funding of $1.86 million over three years for the establishment of a new Venue Support Worker Program within Gambler’ s Help Services across Victoria.
The program aims to:
• support and train gaming venue staff to better identify and respond to patrons showing signs of problem
• raise the awareness of venue staff about Gambler’s Help services, self-exclusion programs, and other
• support venues to meet the requirements of their Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct; and
• work in collaboration with venues to create and maintain responsible gambling environments.
“During Responsible Gambling Awareness Week last year I was very proud to attend the graduation ceremony for the first cohort of Venue Support Workers,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Since then I have enjoyed visiting them and hearing about their important work at Gambler’s Help services and in venues.
“Today I’m very pleased to see that the program continues to have widespread support from gaming venue operators and peak bodies.
“The Victorian Government recognises that the responsibility for a responsible gambling culture is a shared one and that successful programs such as this one are needed.
“The Venue Support Worker program is another of the Victorian Coalition Government’s practical and effective policies to tackle problem gambling, backed up by record funding of $150 million over four years.”
Each Victorian gaming venue has a dedicated Gambler’s Help Venue Support Worker to provide support and assistance tailored to the needs of venue staff and management. There are currently 24 Venue Support Workers employed by Gambler’s Help agencies across the state.
“Since establishing the program, Venue Support Workers have delivered approximately 800 formal training sessions to over 200 gaming venues across the state,” Mr O’Brien said.
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.