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Front of mind with Louise Glanville

In partnership with AFL Victoria, this month the Foundation ran our annual, dedicated, state-wide 'Love The Game' round. This year was especially significant as we now enjoy official partnerships with all 10 Victorian AFL clubs and 300 community clubs throughout metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria.

To coincide with the round we prepared an opinion editorial informed by new research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ Dr Rebecca Jenkinson on sports betting, marketing and young men. Published by the ABC, the editorial highlighted the importance of countering the normalisation of gambling while kids are young and allowing them to enjoy sport without the influence of betting advertising.

In concert with the 'Love The Game' round, AFL Hall of Famer Scott West penned a piece advising young footballers to tread carefully with their disposable income and downtime. Speaking from experience, he urged players to apply the discipline required to perform as an elite athlete on field as well as off. And we spent five minutes with North Melbourne Football Club Director of Coaching Darren Crocker to discuss how gambling has changed since his playing days and why the round resonates with him, as a father.

Loot boxes are one of the gaming industry’s most talked about features. The in-game mechanism has made headlines on numerous occasions, with many questioning whether the product emulates gambling. The Australian Government has recently announced a Senate inquiry into loot boxes – see the Foundation’s submission on the Australian Parliament website. The inquiry report is due to be tabled in September.

The Foundation's biennial conference will take place from 13 to 15 August in Geelong. The Gambling Harm conference 'Taking action for change' is dedicated to capacity building within the sector and will feature a range of guest speakers from a variety of professional and cultural backgrounds. Sessions will include presentations by public health experts, researchers, clinicians, and influential community leaders with an intimate understanding of the impact gambling harm has on the broader community. Conference registrations are close to capacity, but there are still a few places available – to explore the program and/or register, visit the conference website.

Looking ahead, Gambling Harm Awareness Week will be held in Victoria from 8 to 14 October. A key focus for the week will be to reach new audiences and engage the general community through local events and activities. With this in mind it is great to be able to announce that funding is available for organisations to participate in the week. To learn more, visit our website.

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