Reducing the harm caused by gambling

Expected to be tabled in March 2021

Overview

Objective

To determine whether the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is effectively reducing the severity of harm related to gambling.

Issues

While gambling is a legal activity in Victoria that generates economic benefits for the state, such as revenue and employment, harm from gambling is a public health issue that needs a whole-of-community response. Gambling is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through smartphones and gambling apps. Widespread promotion and distribution of gambling venues and prolific online gambling options mean that almost any adult, anywhere in the state, can gamble.

More than half a million Victorians experience some sort of harm every year from gambling activities. It is estimated that for every individual who experiences severe gambling harm, up to six other people are affected, including family members, friends and employers.

The social cost of gambling harm is high, having been estimated at $7 billion per year. The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s (VRGF) studies have found that while fewer people are gambling than in previous years, the people who are gambling are doing so more often and spending more. The majority of gambling harm in Victoria (85 per cent) is experienced by those identified as being in the low and moderate-risk categories for problem gambling, an estimated 350 000 Victorians.

The VRGF undertakes a range of activities to address gambling related harm and meet its vision, mission and strategic objectives, such as providing prevention programs, treatment and support services to people experiencing gambling harm.

This audit will assess whether the VRGF is achieving its mandate to reduce the severity of harm caused by gambling.

Proposed agency

VRGF.

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