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Reducing stigma: A guide for talking about gambling harm

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation 2 mins read


I write to inform you that the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has released a new resource to help media avoid stigmatising language in news and feature items about gambling harm.

Gambling has become more topical in recent years. Several public inquiries into casino practices, a federal parliamentary inquiry into online gambling, and industry’s skyrocketing advertising spend – more than $309 million in Australia in 2022* – have fuelled community interest in the subject.

However, the stigma associated with gambling harm is a deterrent to help seeking, which research has found is exacerbated by insensitive, judgemental and blaming language that implies those affected have a defective character.

The new resource comprises two documents (attached here and available online), including a quick reference guide, which:

  • explain the difference between problem gambling and gambling harm
  • outline the different types of gambling harm
  • provide examples of stigmatising terms and suggest alternatives
  • offer practical advice on working with people who have lived experience of gambling harm to share their stories.

In developing the evidence-based resource, the Foundation considered the findings of academic and market research, reports of public inquiries, and consultations with our Lived Experience Advisory Committee, Gambler’s Help counsellors, other clinical experts, and Mindframe (Everymind).

I encourage you to make use of the resource, noting that gambling harm is now widely accepted as a public health issue, and to always include the 24/7 Gambler’s Helpline – 1800 858 858 – in your coverage of gambling issues.

Please direct any queries to Fiona Skivington, Media & Communication Manager (0428 248 931 or

Yours faithfully


Shane Lucas

CEO, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

*Nielsen Ad Intel, estimated ad. spend on monitored media channels and outlets, Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2022 (2022), Jan 3, 2021 to Jan 1, 2022 (2021)

Contact details:

Fiona Skivington, 0428 248 931


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