The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation will enhance its clinical training and research activities over the next year to support the delivery of high quality services for people affected by gambling.
The Foundation will boost research spending by $1.2 million and increase training for the problem gambling treatment sector.
Chief executive officer Serge Sardo says the new program will help the Foundation achieve its vision of a Victoria free from gambling-related harm.
"Providing high quality services to Victorians affected by gambling is one of the Foundation's top priorities, and we believe this new approach will better support the health professionals who are on the front line of problem gambling treatment," said Mr Sardo.
"We are committed to providing world-class training for counsellors and health professionals that is grounded in practical experience and research," he said.
The program will draw on the experience of a Clinical Training Reference Panel made up of professionals in the field.
Mr Sardo says the panel will provide direction, advice and support to the centre.
"The panel will include clinicians from across the problem gambling treatment agencies to ensure research focuses on the clinical challenges of the sector," he said.
The clinical research program will encourage investigation into current clinical practice including grants for early career researchers.
This research will contribute to the evidence base around problem gambling treatment and inform the development of new training content and resources.
Mr Sardo says over the next year, the Foundation will spend approximately 30 percent of its annual budget on community education and prevention to increase awareness about the risks of gambling.
"As well as better supporting our agencies to tackle problem gambling, we are increasing community awareness about responsible gambling including developing a new schools education program," he said.
The new Professional Development Centre will be complemented by an online resource for professionals working in the area of problem gambling including counsellors and doctors.