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Problem gambling initiative targets CALD communities

26 February 20180 comments

An initiative to tackle problem gambling in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities was announced with week by the Victorian state government.

The Acting Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Martin Pakula revealed $200,000 in funding for a dozen community groups to develop new anti-gambling programs across the state under the aegis of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

Research shows that while CALD communities in developed countries like Australia tend to gamble less than the overall population, those who do gamble are more likely to experience harm.

CALD groups that will benefit include newly arrived migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from Arabic, Middle Eastern and African nations, and more established communities from Greece, Serbia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

The Foundation will use insights from the funded projects to develop more tailored prevention programs for these communities.

The Victorian government has already taken steps to reduce problem gambling including capping pokies numbers across the state, limiting daily cash withdrawals in venues and restricting betting advertising in public spaces.

But it has stopped short of introducing the $1 a spin limit called for by anti-gabling groups.

Victoria’s Multicultural minister Robin Scott said that all Victoria, no matter where they come from, are vulnerable to problem gambling.

“Victorians come from all over the world, so our messages about gambling need to target them,” he said.

“These projects will encourage people to talk openly about the challenges of gambling and get support at a grassroots level,”Minister Scott said.

Acting gaming minister Martin Pakula said the initiative aimed to reach out to culturally and linguistically diverse communities to help reduce gambling harm and give them more support.

“These projects will help work through some of the language and cultural barriers that stop people from getting the help they need,” he said.

 The successful grants include:

  • Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council – $20,000 to train community members to become “gambling aware champions” and hold gambling prevention workshops
  • The Australian Greek Welfare Society – $20,000 to deliver twice-monthly bilingual forums for the community
  • Diversitat (Geelong Ethnic Communities Council) – $20,000 to run workshops for community workers on issues relating to adolescents engaged in online gaming and their subsequent exposure to gambling
  • Migrant Resource Centre North West Region – $20,000 to deliver eight monthly information sessions and workshops to newly arrived refugee and asylum seekers on gambling issues
  • Serbian Community Association of Australia – $17,500 to deliver information sessions and create Serbian language resources to raise awareness about gambling harm
  • Somali Australian Council of Victoria – $17,500 to deliver eight community forums and train community leaders to support gambling harm prevention strategies in West Heidelberg
  • Arabic Welfare – $12,500 to provide support to newly arrived Iraqi and Syrian refugees and migrants and help prevent gambling-related harm
  • Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association – $15,000 to create workshops in English and Vietnamese, and up to four theatre performances
  • Ethnic Community Broadcasting Association of Victoria – $15,000 to develop radio advertising and interviews with people who have experienced gambling harm for broadcast on 3ZZZ
  • Springvale Indo-Chinese Mutual Assistance Association – $15,000 to establish a group to teach at-risk members of the community to take photographs and use video equipment as an alternative to gambling
  • Victorian Arabic Social Services – $12,500 to conduct an education program for Arabic speakers under 30 on a range of topics, including resettlement in Australia and trauma to prevent future gambling harm
  • Cambodian Association Victoria – $15,000 to raise awareness of gambling harm through community forums, social activities and training of gambling case workers.



Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist