Victoria Australia's 'KidBet' Gambling Education Launched

Published Thursday, October 10, 2013 -
Victoria Australia's 'KidBet' Gambling Education Launched

Australia has the most comprehensive problem gambling programs anywhere and the focus these days is on youth. The theory that most advocates of strict gambling laws in Australia go by is ‘prevention’ is the best medicine.

The education of the country’s young demographic regarding the pitfalls of excessive wagering is paramount in keeping a young person from developing serious gambling issues later in life.

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has launched a campaign aimed at teenage gambling in Melbourne. The sometimes thought provoking advertising campaign, KidBet, features a 12-year-old boy promoting a made up gambling agency catering to children. 'Gambling's not a game' is the strategy the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has chosen to apply.

The Government has committed $150 million to the Foundation over the next four years. Edward O'Donohue, Victoria’s Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation, says the Responsible Gambling Foundation is breaking new ground. "In 15 months, it's achieved remarkable results,"

Serge Sard, Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation says problem gambling among the youth, is alarming. "The ad is deliberately provocative because there appears to be a misplaced complacency around the issue," Sard continued, "Today's young person is exposed to a gambling environment that presents a different set of temptations, challenges and dangers than was experienced by their parents. In any given week, there are 25 million internet gambling ads, so it's an explosion of messaging that's bombarding kids.”

Sard says the dramatic change in the gambling environment is alarming and disconcerning. "There's saturation of free game apps that encourages kids to gamble," Adding, "There are around 2,500 virtual casinos, illegal in Australia, but are available. In Australia, there's been a virtual explosion of opportunities to bet.

The Foundation's chair, Bruce Singh AM commented that, "Social media promotes media activities, and gambling simulation games, that essentially teach kids how to gamble, the opportunities to gamble is unprecedented.” "The availability of the product is breath-taking," The Foundation seeks to engage parents, teachers, sporting clubs and the wider community in the campaign.

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