Nationals Member for Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy, has encouraged people to consider the impact that gambling has on their lives and family relationships during Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, which for 2019 runs from 7 to 13 October.
Mr McCurdy is a board member of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, which aims at prevention, early intervention and support for vulnerable individuals dealing with gambling problems and, to help those who choose to gamble, to do so responsibly.
“Gambling has wide spread platforms by means of reaching individuals, therefore it is important that we take the time to look inwards and see if gambling is affecting ourselves and the people around us,” Mr McCurdy said
“The level of gambling in Victoria is increasing so it’s relevant that during Responsible Gambling Awareness Week we all consider the impact at a personal, social and community level.”
Mr McCurdy said sports betting had doubled in Victoria in recent years. “Some households are losing thousands of dollars each year due to their addiction, which could be going towards other family related expenses. The average losses from sporting bets have almost doubled in 5 years. Losses from pokies have risen by 3.4 million in the last financial year.
Men are at the highest risk in our community with nearly three-quarters (73.3 per cent) of moderate-risk gamblers and for 61 per cent of those experiencing problem gambling. Gambling addictions are frequently associated with other mental health disorders, it is important to know the signs and when to stop. Furthermore one in four children can name at least 4 or more gambling brands. Early exposure coupled with the ease of accessibility to gambling makes it concerning for teenagers and young adults with smartphones able to download the app and begin the perpetual cycle into adulthood.
Mr McCurdy said research has shown that the majority of people believe adolescences are exposed to too much gambling. “It is important for parents and schools to know the warning signs, understand what children are doing on their screens and educate them on the damage that gambling can cause to social, mental and financial health and well-being,”
Responsible Gambling Awareness Week aims to inform the community about taking a responsible approach to gambling with the key principles of knowledge, balance and control and the key messages -‘Don’t let gambling take over your life’; ‘Set yourself a limit and don’t exceed it’; and ‘Take just your allocated amount of money’