Australian professor calls for action on problem gambling

    Professor Alan Hayes, head of the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the director of the Australian Gambling Research Centre, has called for more action to tackle problem gambling, saying it’s not enough to encourage individuals to gamble responsibly. In a speech for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, he warned not enough is known about the impact on families, including the neglect of children. Australians are the world’s largest per capita spenders on gambling. He suggested more community action needs to be taken with campaigns along the lines of those that have succeeded in reducing fatalities from car accidents. The Queensland government said it has invested more than $5 million this year on gambling addiction treatment. “Like any addiction, gambling can cause irreparable damage to families and individuals, so it’s vital we provide as much support as possible to anyone who feels they may be at risk,” Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said. Responsible Gambling Awareness Week runs through to June 1st.