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Beat the Odds goes international: Antipodean collaboration for Welsh problem gambling initiative
29 January 2014

One of the world’s leading gambling help services, The Victorian Responsible Gambling Federation, in north Melbourne, Australia, has formed a strategic collaboration with Living Room Cardiff to help it develop its pioneering Beat the Odds initiative in Wales.

As in Wales, problem gambling in Australia is increasingly recognised as an important public health issue with negative impacts for individuals, families and communities. It is estimated, from research undertaken by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Federation that around 20-30% of Australian punters are classified as problem gamblers, who in turn account for as much as 50-60% of all money spent.

The collaboration between Wales and Australia will initially take the form of a series of training courses held in June in Wales by representatives from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Federation. The courses will be designed to equip Living Room and CAIS staff to run a series of pilot problem gambling initiatives in Wales.

The training courses will be followed by a special conference, When Luck Runs Out, which will be held in the Pierhead Building, Cardiff on the morning of 24th June. On the same evening, the Pierhead will also host the Living Room Cardiff’s Annual lecture.
Serge Sardo, Chief Executive Officer, The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, said, “We were established by the Victoria Government under statute to reduce the prevalence of problem gambling and the severity of harm related to gambling and to foster responsible gambling. 

“We have always acknowledged the need for agencies working in this field to learn from each other and in turn contribute to the development of services in other jurisdictions. As such, we look forward to working alongside Living Room Cardiff to share knowledge and resources to help tackle the scourge of problem gambling in our societies, both here in Australia and Wales.

Wynford Ellis Owen, Chief Executive, Living Room Cardiff, said, “Wales has a serious gambling problem with spending on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham, for example, being on a par with the more populated cities of Bristol, Coventry and Edinburgh. Gambling is a major cause of indebtedness

“With betting on gaming machines alone equating to £675 for every Welsh adult each year and more and more debt collectors on the prowl, Beat the Odds is working to find a solution to problem gambling, which is becoming a major problem here in Wales.

“However, we cannot do this alone and being able to collaborate with our Australian cousins is a fantastic way to establish an effective service for people with gambling problems.”

Clive Wolfendale, Chief Executive of CAIS Ltd, the charity that supports the work of Living Room Cardiff added, “It is very clear to us that the phenomenon of gambling, accentuated by accessibility through new technology, is one of the key challenges of our age. It is critical for us, therefore, that we share our journey with individuals and organisations who have already made significant strides in the field. The reputation of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation stands very high in this regard, and we are consequently honoured by their hand of friendship.”

More information
Call Living Room Cardiff on 029 2030 2100



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