A conversation to be had – gambling and the criminal justice system

A conversation to be had – gambling and the criminal justice system

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Centre for Innovative Justice’s research project on the intersection of gambling and the criminal law system

This week is Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, aimed to raise awareness about the importance of gambling responsibly.

On Tuesday, the Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) launched a research report on the intersection of gambling and the criminal law system, Compulsion, convergence or crime: criminal justice system contact as a form of gambling harm.

Victoria Legal Aid actively supported the research by conducting ‘opt-in’ surveys of our duty lawyer clients in some of our busiest courts, asking them about their gambling.

Our lawyers also participated in interviews and focus groups with the CIJ researchers, to talk about their experience in helping clients with their gambling issues and the impact gambling has had on their offending.

Managing Director Bevan Warner says anecdotally we understand many of our clients are struggling with gambling issues.

‘We are also aware that some clients may not see their gambling as having an impact on their other legal issues, such as debt, family violence, family law problems or general criminal offending,’ Bevan said.

‘We know we need more research to understand the extent of this problem.’

The report calls for a conversation about gambling and contact with the criminal justice system.

‘This is a very important conversation, we need to work with our justice partners to continue the conversation to help raise awareness about the impact problem gambling has on people and to find ways to respond to the issue,’ Bevan said.

Read the report

Download a copy of the report: Compulsion, convergence or crime? Criminal justice system contact as a form of gambling harm.

Listen to Bevan's interview with the ABC

Managing Director Bevan Warner spoke with The World Today about the connection between gambling and the criminal law system. Listen from 34:00 to hear Bevan.

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