On Friday 24 March, Year 11 VCE-VM students sat and watched a presentation from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation on gambling harm and its effects on ourselves and everyone around us. The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation offer support for friends and family who are suffering from the affects from gambling. Gambling can affect people’s lives severely. The seven types of gambling harm are identified as relationship difficulties, health problems, emotional or psychological distress, financial problems, issues with work or study, cultural problems and criminal activity. Some of the statistics discussed in the presentation was very concerning with 25% of all gambling harm result in relationship difficulties, 21% result in health problems, 24% of moderate risk gamblers have been diagnosed with depression and 42% of people experiencing gambling problems have been diagnosed with depression.
One of the main focuses in the presentation was on sports betting and how it is very common and how it can affect millions of lives. Sports betting is currently the fastest growing kind of betting because the companies are advertised everywhere. There are sports betting ads on tv, during sport games, on billboards, on the radio, online and in the newspaper. Sports betting companies make a substantial amount off gamblers and during COVID, CEOs made over $820 million. In 2018, $273 million was spent on sports betting advertisements. In 2016 there were 374 ads per day and in 2022 there were 950 ads per day on sports betting.
This all links into the work that the VCE-VM students are currently doing in numeracy on financial numeracy. The numbers that we learnt were extremely shocking. The amount of money that people are willing to throw away to these gambling companies is astonishing. It’s good now that we have the knowledge of how gambling affects us and the types of manipulative strategies used to take advantage of young men through gambling.