Help on the way for young people experiencing gambling harm

26 Jun 2024

There will soon be more help for young people in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) who are at risk of gambling harm, thanks to a new project led by The Australian 精东传媒app University (ANU) Centre for Gambling Research.  


With more young people being introduced to gambling online , project lead and Director of the ANU Centre for Gambling Research, Associate Professor Aino Suomi, said there鈥檚 a lack of targeted resources available.


Her project will co-design a public health strategy to protect young people from gambling harm. This will include a digital hub with targeted resources for both at-risk youth and their parents and carers, developed with key stakeholders in the ACT community.  


鈥淐urrently in the ACT, there are no publicly accessible gambling harm resources that are specifically designed for young people,鈥 Associate Professor Suomi said.  


鈥淎dditionally, a lot of parents and carers have limited understanding of the types of online gambling platforms, particularly linked to video games, that are targeting young people today. 

鈥淭his needs to change if we are to protect our young people from gambling harm.鈥 


The researchers will work with parents and guardians, as well as sporting clubs and other groups to design the resources.  


鈥淭he online gambling space is rapidly evolving, with gambling features in video games posing the most risk given the lack of regulation,鈥 Associate Professor Suomi said. 


鈥淭his project will build directly on our previous studies that told us more about how and why young people are gambling online. 


鈥淲e know they鈥檙e mostly engaging in gambling outside the school environment, so a wider community approach is crucial.鈥 


ACT Minister for Gaming, Shane Rattenbury, said the project will empower young people in the ACT. 


鈥淵oung people are increasingly being targeted and urged into online gambling,鈥 Mr Rattenbury said. 


鈥淚t is vital that they understand the risk and life changing harms that can come from gambling, and they need to have the tools and resources to understand and resist what they are being exposed to.  


鈥淚 am pleased to see ANU taking a leading role in this work.鈥  


The research will be undertaken in partnership with the Youth Coalition of the ACT and is expected to be completed with the launch of the digital hub in the second half of 2025. 


The project is funded through the  administered by the Gambling and Racing Commission.


The project forms part of the Commission鈥檚 increased focus on young people, with the Commission also due to launch gambling harm resources in ACT high schools by the end of this year. 


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