Northern Territory Invests in Problem Gambling Solutions
The Northern Territory has set aside $1.3 million to combat problem gambling among its indigenous communities. The three year project will target problem gambling which has reached epidemic levels in some remote areas.
Gambling problems have been found to reach up to twenty times more in some remote indigenous areas than in the rest of the Northern Territory. The $1.3 million investment by the government aims to improve resources and set up educational programs together with these communities. The project is being run by the Australian National University (ANU) Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), together with the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.
The projected will be piloted to begin with and will run in three different remote Aboriginal communities. Communities have been asked to contact the researchers through the NT Gambling Project Facebook page to express interest in being involved in the project.
“If a community identifies that there’s issues with gambling in their community, well then we want to talk to them; we want to work with them,” said Dr Marisa Fogarty, head researcher from the ANU.
To start, the project is aiming to identify the communities that are most affected by problem gambling. Dr Fogarty stated that ten years of research have made it clear that problem gambling is a consistent problem that needs to be dealt with.
“The project will focus particularly on card games played in remote communities and also gambling in venues….wherever you have poker machines, basically.”
She also stated that each community will help to develop their own unique educational material, making it entirely localised and relevant for the specific community that is being affected. This project has attracted significant international attention.
March 23, 2017