ALTHOUGH gambling has become part of mainstream society, deeply entrenched within the Aussie culture, it has many losers.
“For most, gambling is fun, but for others a loss can be devastating,” Peninsula Voice chairperson Peter Orton said.
In a bid to highlight gambling’s downside Peninsula Voice has organised a forum next month called Is gambling harm our blind spot?
“Gambling has a built-in addictive component and to break the cycle can be extremely challenging,” Mr Orton said.
“The glib advertising statement that you should gamble responsibly is grossly inadequate for some and illustrates a lack of accountability by betting organisations.”
Mr Orton said the forum will “provide our community with vital information on how we can reduce the negative effects of gambling”.
Tim Costello AO, one of the key forum speakers, suggests that if gambling was an international sport, Australia would win gold, silver and bronze against other nations.
“Sad but true,” Mr Orton said.
Other speakers will be former Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor and now with mentoring organisation COACH (Creating Opportunities And Casting Hope) Sam Hearn, Deakin University’s Professor Public Health Samantha Thomas and Jeremy Forbes, of HALT (Help Assistance Local Tradies).
The Alliance for Gambling Reform says that since COVID-19 the nature of gambling has changed, with 80 per cent of all gambling now done online.
“It’s not local pokies and Tabs anymore, but international mega businesses,” Mr Orton said.
The Is gambling harm our blind spot? forum will be held 6pm-8pm Thursday 20 May at Peninsula Community Theatre, Wilson Road, Mornington. Details: peninsulavoice.org.au