Sports betting among young men is one of the fastest-growing forms of gambling in the country.
It’s one reason why an important message is being sent to young Ballarat apprentices during Responsible Gambling Awareness Week which kicks off on Monday.
In previous months The Courier ran a feature speaking about sport wagering with Dr Charles Livingstone, who is a senior lecturer at Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
Dr Livingstone said an exploding uptake in sports wagering among young men was producing a new generation harmed by gambling, with the particular form of gambling having increased about 15 per cent each year for the past five years.
“We do know that the participation gambling rates amongst young men is increasing in this area, it’s doubled in the past couple of years and amongst people who gamble on sports online there is a higher propensity for gambling problem,” he said.
This week apprentices in building and construction courses at Federation University will be the focus of a responsible gambling initiative, and will learn about what it means to gamble responsibly, how to put strategies in place to reduce the risks associated with gambling and developing a support network within their industry.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo said this week was also a chance for others to talk about responsible gambling.
“We encourage friends, family members, parents, teachers, sporting coaches and everyone in the community to have a conversation about ways to reduce the potential for harm from gambling,” he said.
“The significant increase in online betting and advertising has made it especially important to talk to young people about responsible gambling.
"Being informed allows individuals, the community and industry to make appropriate decisions about their gambling behaviour and, for those who might be experiencing issues, to know there is help available.”