It’s National Reconciliation Week, which this year encourages all Australians – under the banner ‘Don’t keep history a mystery: Learn. Share. Grow.’ – to learn more about Aboriginal culture and history, share knowledge and grow as a nation.
This notion was brought to life at the Foundation with a full-day workshop co-facilitated by our Aboriginal partner organisations and Gambler’s Help services. Highlights included a panel discussion about gambling harm in Aboriginal communities, a research presentation examining the gambling behaviour of young Aboriginal people in Gippsland, and a keynote address by Dr Marisa Fogarty, Director of the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University.
I was pleased also to launch the Foundation's first dedicated Aboriginal young people’s ‘Love the Game’ gambling awareness program, a workshop developed in consultation with Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative.
Earlier this month, the Foundation published the results of a review conducted by Kinetica Group of our Love the Game elite and community sporting club program. The findings showed the program is succeeding in its aim to interrupt the normalisation of sports betting, and identified opportunities for enhancement that will ensure it remains relevant. All nine recommendations have been accepted in-principle by the Foundation and, following an intensive period of consultations, a revised program will be rolled out from March 2019.
Progress continues on the Victorian Population Gambling and Health Study as we work closely with CQ University to finalise the survey questions. The study will examine the gambling behaviour of 11,000 Victorians, building on previous studies conducted in 2008 and 2014. Its findings will be used to develop stronger, more targeted responses to gambling harm.
We are in the process of finalising the program for our third biennial conference, Gambling harm: Taking action for change, including consideration of the impressive number of abstracts (30) we received by the deadline. The conference will be held in the regional city of Geelong from 13 to 15 August.
Earlier this month, the Foundation published edition #10 of Inside Gambling, which explores the theme, ‘Working together to prevent harm’. Articles focus on personal experiences of gambling harm in the broader community. We all have a role to play in raising awareness about the risks associated with gambling, as well as supporting those most vulnerable to harm.
Finally, I note with interest the recent move by the UK government to reduce the maximum bet on a fixed-odds betting terminal from £100 to £2. This change is subject to legislative amendment expected to be introduced into Parliament in 2019. This will affect about 17% of the UK's gaming machines and will have an impact on the quantum of gambling taxes.
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