The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) regulates and enforces gambling and liquor laws (among these are the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 and the Gambling Regulation Act 2003) within the state of Victoria.
Gambling regulation in Victoria applies to casino gambling, sports betting, lotteries, bingo, Keno and raffles. Even if the purpose is fund-raising for an association or charity, licences are required and fees must be paid.
The VCGLR’s stated strategy involves striking a balance between compliance restrictions and costs for the gambling industry and minimising harm and ensuring honesty standards for players.
The official Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) website appears to be frequently updated and includes a fair bit of information — most of it targeted at licence holders but interesting to players as well.
Hotels or clubs with gaming machine areas are required to have and maintain self-exclusion programs and accompanying databases in accordance with strict guidelines. The process involves an interview, the choice of the length of the exclusion period (between 6 months and 2 years) and the signing of a deed.
The problem gambling section of the VCGLR website offers links to the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. This foundation was created by the government of Victoria to provide information, support and assistance with the aim of reducing gambling harm in the state. They also offer a wide variety of free training opportunities to health and community professionals. The site has lots of information for everyone from parents to employers, sporting clubs to professionals.
The statistics section is quite interesting in and of itself, for example:
- in 2015/2016, Victorian gamblers lost $5.79 billion;
- 85% of the harm (including emotional and psychological distress, relationship difficulties, etc.) is caused by low-risk and moderate-risk gambling.
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation also provides a dedicated website, Gambler’s Help, for people with gambling problems as well as those who are affected by someone with a problem. Here you can take an online quiz to check how healthy your gambling habits are, read the personal stories of people working on their gambling issues and learn more about how gambling can affect your life. There is also information on how to access online, telephone and face-to-face counselling. Financial counselling is also available.