The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) says gambling harm prevention work is in urgent need of further legislative reforms, community awareness, policy, research and advocacy around its social costs.

ECCV Chairperson Cr Kris Pavlidis says that in a highly diverse society like Victoria, the problem of gambling harm and how to address it is not unique to any one community, but is an issue that is important to us all.

“ECCV has worked on gambling harm prevention in areas with high gambling loses, which also tend to be areas with high incidence of family violence,” Cr Pavlidis said.

“People can be vulnerable at any stage in life. It can happen to anyone. That is why gambling harm has to be seen as a shared problem in Victoria. Victorians lose more than $7 million each day at the pokies.

“There is silence and secrecy around the issue of gambling harm due to stigma and shame, and this is something that we absolutely need to find ways to work together to counter.”

Cr Pavlidis said that ECCV in partnership with RMIT will be holding a forum on the impact of gambling harm across culturally diverse communities on June 6 at the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne. Phil Kafcaloudes, Lecturer from the School of Journalism at RMIT, will host the forum, which will be filmed for broadcasting on Channel 31.

“This will be an outstanding opportunity for those people working in this field – as well as community representatives and media – to come together to discuss this increasingly disturbing public health issue.”

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