NT indigenous communities tackle problem gambling

Posted on August 12, 2016 by Addiction Editor

PROBLEM gambling is up to 20 times more prevalent in remote indigenous communities, with young kids indoctrinated through low stakes bets on activities such as marbles.

In what is thought to be a world first, problem gambling in remote Territory communities will go under the microscope in a $1.3 million pilot project led by the Australian National University Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research with help from the Menzies School of Health Research and Amity Community Services.

The project is the biggest single investment in addressing gambling in Australian indigenous communities.

A research team will work with communities to come up with and implement ways to tackle the problem.

In communities where gambling is prevalent, it becomes normalised with children participating in their own gambling activities, she said. And a shift towards online gaming or gaming within clubs and casinos was also having a detrimental impact, as the pot, which once stayed within communities, was now being handed over to commercial operators.

Ms Coalter said the focus on qualitative evaluation during the three-year study made it unique.

ANU lead researcher Marisa Fogarty said the best way to address problem gambling was to work directly with communities. “Each community will develop their own educational material. It will be a completely localised initiative,” she said.

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