Gambling home costs Victorian estimated $7 billion a year, with one in five people who gamble experience harm from that gambling. 

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Prevention and Programs, General Counsel Ms. Tanya Fletcher says that gambling harm can range from feelings of guilt to the extremes of losing the family home.

"At one end of the spectrum, it might be just experiencing feelings of guilt or regret or having spent a little bit too much, Ms. Fletcher said. 

"In the middle, it can manifest in not being able to afford things. Families might not be able to afford shoes for the kids, or may not be able to, put the same amount of food on the table for the week. That's starting to get a bit more serious," she said. 

"But at its extreme end, it's about family violence. So you're talking about bankruptcy and you're talking about suicide, sometimes."

Tanya fletcher VRGF

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Prevention and Programs, General Counsel Ms. Tanya Fletcher

A project is coming to the Latrobe Valley to address gambling harm. 

Providing evidence-based sports and arts programs, Reclink will carry out primary prevention programs in the region.

Reclink, Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Dave Wells, said Reclink programs focus on people at risk of gambling harm or may be causing harm to themselves or their families through gambling. 

dave wells reclink

Reclink, Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Dave Wells

"We work to engage people in the community. We start talking to them about programs that they might want to get involved with," Mr. Wells said.

"One of the things that we've already started to look at as is lawn bowls, indoor fitness and health programs for older people as well, and will work with the community to do that consultation, make sure we're targeting the right group," he said. 

bowling 1  bowling 2  excerise classes

"We actually designed the programs based on what people want."

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's Ms. Fletcher feels that addressing the problem of gambling, harm and promoting community wellbeing is a job for all of us. 

"And we can play our part, but we need to work with people. We all need to work together to be able to tackle it," Ms. Fletcher said. 

"And it's just why we love particularly this community-led programming and being able to work with local communities because local communities know best how to fix their own challenges," she said.

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's community-led prevention programs have helped up to 8 million people since 2014.

As part of community prevention, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is holding gambling Awareness Week, October 18 to 24th, 2021.

gambling harm awareness week

More information can be found at responsible gambling.vic.gov.au. 

If you're experiencing gambling harm, you can contact Gambler's help on 1800 858858

gamblers help

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