Inspired and angry about gambling harm

27 Sep 2023

Inspired and angry about gambling harm featured image

We were pleased to attend an event in September 2023 at Australian Parliament House featuring Churchill Fellow Lauren Levin (VIC, 2020) to gain insights at “Gambling Briefing: What Works? Learning from European Regulators.”

“I’ve come back from my Churchill Fellowship inspired and angry.” said Lauren.

Lauren recently returned from Europe on her Churchill Fellowship to identify what legislative, regulatory and banking methods work in reducing online gambling harm.

A range of MPs and other stakeholders were at the event including Kate Chaney MP, Carol Bennett, Andrew Wilkie MP, Dr Sophie Scamps MP Rebekha Sharkie MP David Pocock Sam Birrell, the Alliance for Gambling Reform and Financial Counselling Australia.

“Australia is the cash cow for gambling companies and there’s no need for us to be the worst in the world,”

“The seven European/UK gambling regulators are doing so much, and their governments are unapologetically working to prevent gambling harm as their priority,”

“I have been calling for a dedicated Minister for Gambling. We need a plan. It’s not a set and forget. We need to come from an informed position and demand more for our young people, and to prevent gambling harm and suicide,”

“On my Churchill Fellowship, I went to countries who were stopping gambling advertising and inducements, and actively requiring gambling operators to not let people lose their homes. I’m angry because we have done so little, and have been so unambitious in our thinking. We get caught up on tiny changes, when only comprehensive reform will work,”

“Australia is by far the worst of all the countries and we need to change.” said Lauren.

Lauren has been an advocate for preventing gambling harm, particularly in the fast-growing online gambling sector. She is shedding light on the inadequacies of gambling policy and regulation, especially concerning vulnerable consumers. Lauren has been collaborating with leaders, government officials, regulators, and consumer peaks to advocate for important policy changes that prioritise consumer well-being.

Lauren has focused on the prevention of gambling-related suicides, leading to the creation of the ground-breaking report “Preventing Gambling Suicides: a roadmap for reform” in March 2022, in partnership with Suicide Prevention Australia.

“We are pleased to have been part of this event, where Lauren shared some of her experiences, knowledge, and solutions for a safer and healthier gambling environment, and I encourage all decision makers to take note of Lauren’s recommendations.” said Adam Davey, CEO of the Churchill Trust.

Read more including a summary of Lauren’s Churchill Fellowship report.

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