'On Tuesday 8 March 2022, the SRC [Student Representative Council] collaborated with LiveFM on their Our Gambling Harm podcast to speak about the harmful and detrimental effects of gambling, not only on the gambler but also on their families, the economy, and the community.
Firstly, Riley, Aidan, Jasper and I interviewed Dr Hannah Pitt, a research fellow from the Faculty of Health at Deakin University. Hannah raised some interesting concerns on the influence of gambling on young children and how it may convince some to delve deep into the struggling life of being a gambler. She also brought up the normalisation of gambling and how it isn’t represented as the negative struggle that it truly is, and the slow reduction of gambling influence by the government and how people want more than just “gamble responsibly” plastered at the end of every gambling ad.
Fred Rubinstein, a man who has lived through the experience and struggles of gambling harm, was interviewed by Remy, Caden, Taj and Loki. The story alone is very emotional and saddening and really brings the first-hand perspective of what a gambling addiction is and how it affects the individual and those around them.
Fred started his story with his childhood; he was a troublesome boy who always wanted to be like his father. He was as smart as his father yet he was consistently in trouble at school (that didn’t change until much later). He began his gambling addiction at a ripe young age where he won $100 on a sticker scratch card. Eventually this gambling addiction spiralled out of control, affecting the relationship with his mother, and after his dad passed away it became worse until his mother made him realise his troubles: the effects of this addiction and how it had affected her, also.
Eventually he ended up seeking help and it was “the best decision of his life,” as he said. This retelling allowed us to really understand the real effects and detriment a gambling addiction can have on one’s life.
Finally, Matthew, Adrian, Hudson and Cooper interviewed Ian, a community engagement officer, and Kelly, a counsellor. Both are from the Gambler’s Help team at IPC Health. They both spoke about gambling effects and what they provide for those who gamble. They also spoke about the need to reduce 80% of Australians’ gambling each year.
Ian raised the question: What would be considered gambling? Is spending $2 on a raffle considered gambling? Or is it so much more?
They spoke about the services available to gamblers in need, such as the Gambler’s Help hotline 1800 858 858 and other websites that assist in providing relevant information on gambling addiction.’