After one hundred challenging days, the four brave faces of the 'Fight for the real you' campaign have emerged stronger and more in control of their gambling.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive officer Serge Sardo says the innovative problem gambling campaign has inspired 1,600 people to sign up for the 100 Day Challenge to tackle their gambling problems.
"The success of the campaign demonstrates how powerful stories about real people can be in reaching out to those in need," said Mr Sardo.
Mr Sardo says public interest in the campaign has exceeded expectations with over 150,000 visitors to the website since it was launched in March.
"These four remarkable people have opened up to the camera, sharing the daily highs and lows of battling their issues with gambling, and they've done it not only to help themselves but also to help others," said Mr Sardo.
The final advertisements featuring Matt and Anna show the range of experiences two people can have when they decide to reduce or stop gambling.
Matt, a 26 year old tradie who estimates he has spent over $250,000 on gambling in his life says he found the challenge difficult at first but managed to refrain from gambling during the hundred days.
"This was a big step, but one I'll never regret. It hasn't just been a challenge for one hundred days, it's what I'm going to continue to do. I know I'm on the right path now and I don't think I'm going to gamble again. I've got savings and real goals for the first time in my life and I'm the happiest I've ever been," said Matt.
Anna, a 50 year old mum, has struggled to control her gambling demonstrating that setbacks are common on the road to recovery.
"I've done a lot of searching within myself and realise that it's not about being perfect. This process has left a profound impression on me and I'm excited to see what opportunities are out there for me. I will stick to my recovery program and when this hundred days ends, I'll start again," said Anna.
Mr Sardo says he's delighted with the success of the campaign and online service which will remain as a permanent service after the cameras stop rolling.
"We encourage people who are worried about their gambling to sign up for the challenge at fightforyou.com.au where they can find out about counselling options, join online forums, set goals, receive tips and tools for controlling their gambling, and keep their own private written or video diary," said Mr Sardo.
The last phase of the advertising campaign will continue for the next month with final video summaries to be uploaded this week.
Find out more and sign up for the 100 Day Challenge at fightforyou.com.au.
Free, confidential help is available for gamblers and their families, 24/7 through Gambler's Helpline 1800 858 858 or Gambling Help online.
There are many ways to seek professional and anonymous help for your own, or your loved one's problems with gambling.
If you need immediate help, please call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or Gambler's Help Youthline on 1800 262 376 (from within Australia only). This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free and confidential.