Gambling industry research in Australia found children as young as 12 to be gambling in the country.
A thorough research on underage gambling problems has been conducted in the Australian state of Victoria. Shocking results reveal that children as young as 12 years of age were found to be gambling freely at various betting establishments running under Australian gambling laws.
The groups at increased risk of developing a gambling addiction were identifies as young children, international exchange students, and people suffering from mental health issues. Naturally, the research findings are alarming and have already sparked reactions from authorities and interested parties.
Responsible Gambling Foundation of Victoria has introduced an additional wave of funding for programs designed to assist these groups. A document has been drawn up outlining “target population groups” who are to be educated and helped in prevention of gambling addiction.
These “target population groups” include people who suffer from depression and have mental health issues, as well as those living at socio-economic disadvantage. Other two population groups are 12-17 years-old teenagers and international exchange students living and studying in Victoria.
Quotes from the report
The report was quoted in Australian gambling news: “A great proportion of Australians growing up today are likely to have experience of gambling before they are 18. Teenagers are more prone to gambling than adults and gambling issues are often associated with other problems. It is important to inform and build young people’s capacity to negotiate the gambling environment.”
Children as young as 12 were found to be gambling in Australia
• Recent industry research has revealed shocking statistics
• Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation strives to tackle the problem
• Both land-based and online casinos in Australia pose threat to underage gamblers
The Responsible Gambling Foundation has introduced a youth engagement strategy last year. Its main goal was to reduce the number of youngsters acquiring gambling habits. Previous research on the matter identified the earliest age for people to start gambling as 15 year of age.
The KidBet advertising campaign from the foundation was launched with a view to raise awareness on the negative impact of gambling and sports betting advertising has on young people in Australia. Here’s what the recent report had to say about this campaign: “The focus of the campaign is to warn parents and the general community of the increasing risks to our children if overexposures to sports betting advertising continues.”
Other risk groups
Children and teenagers are not the only group subjected to the high risks of gambling addiction in Australia. The tender paper stipulates: “There is a higher prevalence of gambling-related problems in young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 and particularly young men in this age group.”
Other groups at risk of problem gambling include Victorian population in the criminal justice system, as well as people from culturally diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders and, naturally, employees of gambling venues and online casinos in Australia.
Comments on the issue
Charles Livingstone, public health senior lecturer at Monash University, confirmed that some community groups are more vulnerable to gambling addiction than the others. He also praised authorities and responsible bodies for targeting these groups with their educational and assistance programs.
Here’s what Mr. Livingstone had to say: “It is unfortunate that kids 12 to 17 fall into that category and I think it demonstrates the extent to which gambling has saturated our community these days.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Serge Sardo, confirmed that the organization is already investing more money into prevention programs. And will continue to allocate more funds towards educating the population on dangers associated with gambling and underage gambling.
He commented: “A lot of them are awareness raising programs, information kits in different languages.” These are needed to direct a certain amount of projects and educational efforts at groups including international students.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
The foundation has started its operations in 2012 as an independent statutory authority. The organization focuses on reduction and prevention of the harmful consequences of problem gambling. It also tries to educate and help those who do gamble to carry out this activity responsibly.
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has the following priorities: it provides various services assisting people affected by excess and problem gambling as well as their friends and family. Community awareness and education on the issue of problem gambling is also among the top priorities of the organization.
Another important job the Responsible Gambling Foundation carries out is the in-depth research of problem gambling issue in order to suggest the best possible practices to tackle the problem. Other services the foundation provides include information about Australian gambling regulations and gambling licensing approval process.
The Board of the foundation is working in close contact with the gambling industry’s leaders and stakeholders. Together they strive to identify and design the strategic priorities and actions for tackling problem gambling in short, medium and long term.
Every year the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation prepares an annual business plan and an annual financial report and submits both to the Parliament.