Gambling education pilot

Brimbank City Council, Victoria, has welcomed a new pilot program to reduce the risks to kids of online gambling and gaming addiction saying more needs to be done to reduce gambling harm.

Three Brimbank schools will be included in the Victorian Government pilot program, which will teach parents at 12 schools to minimise the risk of excessive gaming, in-game bullying and exposure to gambling content in kids’ games.

Brimbank Councillor Virginia Tachos said Council had long held concerns about the normalisation of gambling through gambling features in children’s video games (such as loot boxes) and gambling advertising during sport broadcasts.

In February this year Council resolved to raise these issues at the 2019 National General Assembly of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) – and electronic gambling reform is identified as a key priority in the Brimbank Advocacy Plan.

Cr Tachos said Brimbank would continue to advocate at a Federal Government level for stricter regulation of video games with gambling features and to close loopholes that allowed for gambling advertising during sports broadcasts.

“We are extremely troubled by the normalisation of gambling, both through advertising during sporting broadcasts, and through gambling features in children’s video games, which this pilot seeks to address.

“This program is a fantastic investment by the Victorian Government, which will support parents with practical steps to help their kids have a positive gaming experience, and increase children’s awareness of the potential risks that come with online gambling.”