Gambling Harm Awareness Week is running from 7-13 October and a number of initiatives are taking place to address issues related to lucky games and their impact.

Maria Vamvakinou MP, Federal Member for Calwell, addressed her community at the Meadow Heights Education Centre where over 100 community members of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds attended the event organised by the Meadow Heights Education Centre and Arabic Welfare Inc.

“Gambling and the use of pokies machines is a growing area of expenditure for locals in Calwell, with over $300,000 spent on pokies per day in the Hume area.

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“The serious effects of gambling not only impact the finances of an individual, but are also seen through the loss of physical and mental health, relationships, work performance and self-esteem,” said Ms Vamvakinou, adding “the consequences of gambling affect the individual and those around them, yet this is still an issue that is hidden and not often spoken about in the community.”

Also speaking at the event was Tony Clarkson, Principal Clinical Advisor at the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.