The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria – partnering with the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District – will conduct a Gambling Harm Forum in Shepparton on Tuesday, 27 November.
The Study of gambling and health in Victoria found 70.1 per cent of Victorians gamble, most of whom (82.2 per cent) show no signs of harm from their gambling.
This means almost one in five (around 550,000) Victorians who gamble may be experiencing harm from gambling.
In addition, 2.8 per cent of people surveyed as part of the study reported experiencing harm as a result of someone else’s gambling in the preceding 12 months. When applied to the Victorian adult population, this is around 122,500 people. Of course, this excludes children, who may also be affected by gambling harm.
Given the ripple effect of gambling harm, and recognising it not only affects people who gamble and those close to them, but also the broader community, the Foundation commissioned a major study into the impact of gambling harm in Victoria.
The 2016 study Assessing gambling-related harm in Victoria used a standard World Health Organisation approach to measure the effect of a health condition on a person’s quality of life. The researchers collected information about gambling harm in Victoria and then used findings from our Study of gambling and health in Victoria to estimate the impact of gambling harm on the community as a whole.
The study classified gambling harm into seven broad types:
emotional or psychological distress
issues with work or study
At the Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference Rev. Tim Costello spoke about gambling and its similarities with what religion offers: religions offer meaning, hope, identity and community. Gambling, said Rev. Tim Costello, offers similar yet veils them. The hope is “the wealthier I am, the happier I will be”… a mistaken assertion about the nature of happiness.
The mistaken narrative about happiness continues, “If I win, I will have hope! Hope for what? Hope for the future? This raises many questions about what people are living for. Perhaps, Australian Identity is part of this gambling narrative: Australians like Eucalyptus Oil, Gambling and having a bet each way – a punt. It was the only activity the poor man shared in the sport of kings, horse racing. Tim Costello raised questions about whether this is really the character of the Sunburnt Soul, the typical Australian.
Unfortunately, he pointed out – sport is now coupled with gambling – and has its own mantra – Gamble responsibly. (This is simply permission from the government to be a gambler, and sends a false message to children watching gambling ads. Meaning for some Australians is all about being a winner and not a loser. The only sense of community gambling offers is false community, for it is not a community that has enduring sense of purpose. Gambling inevitably loses, and loses everything.
Program: Gambling Harm Forum
Date: Tuesday, 27 November
Time: 10am – 12 noon.
Location: Masonic Centre, 161 Welsford St, Shepparton
RSVP: Andrew Murley, 5831 2395
More information: 5831 2395
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