Gambling Harm Prevention

Since the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria’s 2014 community forum, Let’s Talk about Gambling in Multicultural Communities, the number of stories of gambling addiction and harm reaching the ECCV reinforces that gambling harm has become a serious public health issue.

While minor gaming and leisure play a role in the cultural fabric of Australians, ECCV clearly distinguishes between large commercial gambling operators, addictive poker machine technology, and minor gaming.

The Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic) (the Act) allows not for profit organisations to fundraise using bingo and raffles events at schools and community fetes.

The Victorian Government passed the Gambling Regulation Amendment (Gaming Machine Arrangements) Bill 2017 (Vic) (the Bill) on the 30 November 2017. This extends the licenses for gambling machines for another 20 years until August 2042.

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) appreciate the pressures facing both governments and communities when addressing the devastating costs of gambling harm including the loss of homes, family breakdown and most tragically, the loss of lives.

Gambling Harm Prevention Forum

September 2020

ECCV’s Gambling Harm Reduction During COVID-19 Forum looked at how the coronavirus pandemic is changing the effects of gambling harm among culturally diverse communities. It was an initiative of the CALD Community of Practice led by ECCV and funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF).

More than 80 attendees tuned in online to hear from a range of speakers including representatives from the VRGF, RMIT University, the Centre for Multicultural Youth and the gambling venue workers support program (Gamblers’ Help). Topics included the links between online gaming and gambling, the impacts of gambling among international students living in Australia during lockdown, how young people from culturally diverse communities can experience gambling and the emerging mental health risks associated with the reopening of gambling venues in Victoria.

The keynote speaker, Associate Professor Charles Livingstone from Monash University, also gave us a sneak preview of new research that suggests that the extended period of lockdown has actually been a positive experience for many people previously experiencing gambling harm in our community.

The Forum was well received, with attendees describing it as “engaging and insightful” for providing “so much useful information and research for us to use in our community engagement work”.

Watch some of the speaker presentations from the Forum in the videos below.

CALD Communities of Practice

September 2019 – 2020

ECCV was re-engaged to support the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s CALD work. ECCV provided valuable expertise in CALD community engagement and sector development, drawing on our capabilities and networks as the peak body for ethnic community organisations in Victoria. This included board members of diverse community backgrounds, wide reach to grass-roots community organisations and excellent networking capacity, in particular a strong focus on connecting other organisations to each other.

Our work with the Foundation included:

  • Guiding a CALD Community of Practice for Foundation funded partners to network and collaborate on joint interests and opportunities
  • Gambling harm prevention messaging through ECCV’s existing communication channels
  • Provision of expertise and networks to support the cultural safety and culturally diverse representation of Foundation-led projects, events and marketing.

ECCV held a successful Gambling Harm Forum in June at Capitol Theatre in June 2019. You can watch the forum discussion here.

Gambling Harm Prevention Project

July 2017 – June 2019

ECCV was funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) to conduct a two-year Gambling Prevention Project, which proactively raised awareness of gambling harm among culturally diverse communities.

The project:

  • Facilitated discussions with experts and community leaders
  • Shared evidence about the impact of gambling harm on culturally and linguistically diverse ethnic communities
  • Promoted safe recreation messages in local ethnic media
  • Promoted local support for communities and;
  • Co-designed information and messages about gambling harm with ethno-specific leaders.