The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has welcomed the introduction of legislation in state parliament today to give it more influence to address harm from gambling.
The legislation provides the Foundation with a clear policy and advocacy role.
Foundation Chair, Professor Bruce Singh says it's an important step forward.
"I congratulate the Andrews government, in particular Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Jane Garrett on fulfilling a key election commitment aimed at boosting the role of the Foundation.
Professor Singh says the government has responded to concerns raised over previous limits put on the Foundation.
"A critical aspect to addressing gambling harm, absent since the Foundation's inception, has been the ability to play a role in policy and advocacy.
"Advising the minister on policy matters and advocating on behalf of the wider community is essential to delivering a broad, integrated public health response to gambling harm.
Foundation CEO, Serge Sardo says the amendment means the Foundation's functions will be modelled on those of VicHealth.
"These changes will ensure the Foundation plays a role in developing and implementing effective gambling harm minimisation strategies.
"While providing help services and raising community awareness will remain at the core of what we do, adding policy and advocacy means we now have the complete public health toolbox at our disposal to address gambling harm," he said.
"The Foundation has had a very successful few years in establishing client-centred services, boosting our role with these new functions means the people who are closest to the frontline of gambling harm will now have a voice in shaping policy," he said.