Busses around Ballarat to promote gambling harm awareness messages

 

 Gambling losses in Victoria were back to their pre-COVID-19 levels in December 2020 following venue closures during the lockdown in 2020.

Despite restrictions on the number of machines operating, in Ballarat Electronic Gaming Machine losses were $4.7 million in December 2020 compared to $4.9 million in December 2019.

Ballarat Community Health is launching a new awareness campaign on local Ballarat busses to encourage locals to take a break from gambling and enjoy local Ballarat attractions, sports and the outdoors. A public bus in Ballarat will have the message ‘’Spend your time in new ways’’ on the back to encourage locals to take a break from gambling and try other activities.

  • This campaign is encouraging local Ballarat people to take a break from gambling and try playing sport, walking with friends and enjoying the outdoors.
  • This campaign is an extension of the successful social media campaign in 2020 featuring local Ballarat community members and sites.
  • The bus advertising campaign will be running for the next 3 months.
  • BCH’s All-in Project is funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and designed to reduce the stigma associated with gambling harm, build understanding, promote help seeking for those impacted and promote alternative recreation opportunities instead of gambling. BCH will be promoting the bus campaign through its social media and encouraging community members to post comments that they ‘sited’ the bus.

 

Gambling has a huge impact on the community including:

  • Harm from gambling isn’t just about losing money. Gambling can affect how you feel. It can also affect your self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health. It doesn’t matter how often or much a person gambles, the negative effects of gambling can happen to anyone.
  • Gambling affects more people than you realise. In 2018–19, 630,000 Victorian adults experienced some form of harm from gambling activities.
  • The effects of gambling are often hidden and not spoken about because it can be a sensitive issue that makes people feel uncomfortable. But, when we talk about gambling harm as a community, it makes it easier for those affected to reach out to someone.

 

“Many people experience emotional effects from gambling, like stress, regret and guilt, no matter how much or how often they gamble. These effects can start off small and build up, causing stress in their lives”, CEO Sean Duffy said.

“This bus advertising campaign is spreading the word and encouraging community members to take a break from gambling and try something new”.

“Ballarat has some amazing outdoor spaces where you can take a walk, picnic or just enjoy nature. Many of these activities are free, such as the new disc gold course in Vic park, our gardens, the lake and local walking tracks and picnic areas,” Mr Duffy said.

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