Victory helps Government red-card problem gambling

Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien joined Melbourne Victory players at Gosch’s Paddock this morning to launch a new partnership to promote the responsible gambling message to football fans.

Minister for Gaming Michael O-Brien joined Melbourne Victory players at Gosch-s Paddock this morning to launch a new partnership to promote the responsible gambling message to football fans.

Melbourne Victory and Gambler-s Help have joined forces to raise awareness of Gambler-s Help services during this A-League season by encouraging young men to gamble responsibly.

“This partnership will deliver the responsible gambling message directly to young men, who are at greater risk of developing gambling problems,” Mr O-Brien said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to tackling problem gambling and grassroots partnerships like this are hugely important in getting results and reducing the harm caused by problem gambling.

“This campaign sends three clear messages - gambling help services are available, they are easy to access and gamblers at risk of problems should get help before their gambling gets out of control.”

Melbourne Victory Club captain Adrian Leijer and teammates Matthew Foschini and New Zealand international Marco Rojas have been named as Player Ambassadors.

Melbourne Victory Managing Director Richard Wilson said players will be reminding supporters that if they or someone they know have a gambling problem they can access help services and participating in a range of other initiatives to get the message across.

‘We know that men between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely than any other age group to be problem gamblers,” Mr Wilson said.

“This partnership is a great fit for us because more than twenty per cent of Melbourne Victory members are within this age group.” …/2 This partnership is also an ethical strength for Melbourne Victory, given their decision to forgo sponsorship arrangements with sports betting agencies in favour of partnering with the Coalition Government on community initiatives.

Mr O-Brien said research shows that for every person that gambles, another seven people are adversely affected.

“Our research also shows that half of all problem gamblers started gambling at the end of their teenage years, and while the triggers to start gambling were overwhelmingly based on entertainment and social reasons, winning or losing money was only a consideration for 16 per cent of young gamblers,” Mr O-Brien said.

“While men aged 25 to 34 face a higher risk, they won-t pick up the phone to call the Gambler-s Helpline for assistance. That-s what we hope to start changing with this partnership.”

Gambler-s Help will work with Melbourne Victory to promote responsible gambling messages and encourage help seeking via direct communication with the Club-s 50,000 strong subscriber list and 63,500 Facebook and Twitter followers; through player ambassador and education programs; substantial and high-visibility responsible gambling signage at AAMI Stadium for eight home games this season; and a special Responsible Gambling match on 16 March 2012 when Melbourne Victory take on Wellington Phoenix.

This sponsorship is being funded as part of the government-s $150 million package to tackle problem gambling through the establishment of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, the largest financial commitment in Victoria's history to reducing problem gambling.

For free and confidential problem gambling advice, call Gambler-s Help on 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblinghelponline.org.au to talk to a counsellor or access email support.