Gamblers urged to kick the habit

By Jane Garcia

The City of Whitehorse in Victoria has launched a unique campaign aimed at supporting problem gamblers, and gamblers' friends and family.

Break the Habit is targeted at the small number of problem gamblers in the area.
It will involve campaign posters, flyers, brochures and other promotional material endorsing helplines and other services able to assist individuals in overcoming problem gambling behaviour.

The initiative was developed in partnership with Gambler’s Help Eastern and Chinese Gambling Concern.  The group helps people of all ages from different cultural groups, with about 90 per cent of people contacting the group adversely affected by using poker machines.

“More and more the issue of gambling is becoming councils’ business – from a planning perspective, but also from a social perspective,” says Whitehorse’s manager of community development, Helen Killmier.
“It’s council taking the stand to say ‘this kind of community that we have and this is the kind of community that we want to maintain’. We’re not saying gambling is a big problem in Whitehorse because it really isn’t a huge problem in terms of being one of our major social issues, but we certainly don’t want it to become one.
“We want to be able to proactively support people, and their families, who do have gambling issues.”

Community sector workers have been provided training in how identify and refer people affected by problem gambling. There are plans to translate Break the Habit promotional materials into different languages.

If local governments, community organisations or other interested parties would like to find out more about the campaign, contact Helen Killmier at

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