For every problem gambler in Victoria, there are three to four others who are at risk of developing problems.
A major new ad campaign from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation goes to air for the first time on Tuesday, 3 March 2015. The campaign features sports stars talking about times in their sporting careers when they experienced regret about a decision but then learned from it.
Featuring two high profile AFL footballers, the first woman to slam dunk at an Olympic games and a leading A-League soccer star, the new ad highlights the need for gamblers to take note of that feeling you get when you've spent too much on gambling and need to rein it in.
Former Hawthorn captain Sam Mitchell and Australian Opals basketballer Liz Cambage talk about pushing their bodies too hard resulting in injuries that interrupted their careers. Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer and Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury talk about on-field decisions that contributed to losses for their teams.
Sam Mitchell says he regrets deciding to play with niggling injuries that later got worse and took him out of the game for a month.
"The link between these feelings of regret and guilt can be similar to what people feel when they gamble more than they should have," he said.
Melbourne Victory captain Mark Milligan says while everyone has regrets, what's important is learning from them.
"Regret is a part of life. Using those feelings to inspire positive changes in your life is what this campaign is all about," he said.
Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Jane Garrett, says while there are 30,000 Victorians who have a serious problem with gambling, there are over 100 thousand whose gambling puts them at risk of developing a problem.
"The basis for this campaign is raising awareness that risky gambling can lead to a bigger problem, making recovery more difficult.
"This campaign is a positive way to ensure people reflect on their gambling and make sure they avoid bet regret in the future," she said.
Foundation CEO Serge Sardo said most gamblers have at some point bet more than they could afford and felt guilt and regret, if this happens frequently, it could lead to developing problems with gambling.
"Our message is not about stopping gambling, it's about being aware of how much and how often you experience Bet Regret and realising it could lead to something more serious," he said.
The new campaign follows on from the original Bet Regret campaign which went to air from October last year showing real Victorians talking about their gambling regrets. The campaign will be on television, radio, online, print and outdoors including bus/tram stops and inside trains until 28 March 2015.