Victoria Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien
Victoria Taking The Lead With Online Gambling Campaign
Victor P Taffa
Tasmania is adopting Victoria’s groundbreaking online gambling campaign, confirming Victoria’s position as a national leader in tackling problem gambling.
Tasmania will introduce the campaign that was launched as an Australian-first by the Victorian Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien in September last year.
Mr. O’Brien said Victoria’s campaign had been highly successful in raising awareness of the risks and consequences of excessive online gambling in Victoria.
“I look forward to seeing this campaign successfully continuing over Bass Strait.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“It is a reflection of the outstanding achievements of this landmark campaign that it is now being adopted by responsible gambling agencies beyond Victoria.”
“Our campaign was the first action of its type taken by a government in Australia to address the risks accompanying the rise of interactive gambling technologies and the consequences of excessive online gambling.”
“This campaign was developed in recognition of the rapid increase of sports betting advertising and the easy accessibility of online gambling as issues that needed to be addressed.”
“While online gambling may be convenient for some, for others it can pose a real risk of developing into a problem.”
“I’m delighted that Tasmania is now taking up this campaign and spreading the message of responsible gambling further.” Mr. O’Brien said.
The campaign in Victoria generated a 1,213 % increase in online visitors to Gambling Help Online, resulting in a 27 % increase in the number of live online counselling sessions provided. During the eight weeks of the campaign, there was also a 23 % increase in calls to the Gambler’s Help line.
Concluding last November, the campaign consisted of thought-provoking advertisements on television, in the press, online, on radio, and in trains and trams to convey the message, “Online gambling. It’s easy to bet. Too easy to lose.”
The advertisements specifically targeted young males aged between 20 and 39, and showed how financial security, careers and relationships can be jeopardised by excessive online gambling.
Mr. O’Brien said problem gambling could lead to significant problems for families and the broader community and this campaign was one of a number of ways that the Victorian Government was minimising harmful gambling practices.
Free and confidential support for gamblers and family or friends affected by gambling is available 24 hours a day, through the Gambler’s Help line on 1800 858 858 and through Gambling Help Online, which offers information, anonymous live chat and email support at gamblinghelponline.org.au