Gambling-related harm has been high on the government’s agenda for some time. Now the Andrews Labor Government is putting the spotlight on protecting culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Research has shown that CALD communities in countries like Australia are likely to gamble less than the overall population, but those who do gamble are more likely to experience harm.

To tackle the issue head-on, last week Acting Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Martin Pakula announced that the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has awarded a total of $200,000 to 12 community organisations to develop new programs across the state.

“These projects will encourage people to talk openly about the challenges of gambling and get support at a grassroots level,” said Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott.

Among the groups set to benefit from the initiative are newly-arrived migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

The Australian Greek Welfare Society was one of the organisations to receive funding, with $20,000 allocated to deliver twice-monthly bilingual forums for the Greek community.

“These projects will help work through some of the language and cultural barriers that stop people from getting the help they need,” explained Mr Pakula.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation will use insights from the funded projects to develop more tailored prevention programs for these communities.