26 September 2023

Gambling audit pays out for Foundation

Start the conversation

A performance audit into whether the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is effectively reducing the severity of gambling harm has reported the Foundation was unable to measure its impact.

In his report, Reducing the Harm Caused by Gambling, Auditor-General Andrew Greaves said the Foundation was established in 2012, to reduce gambling harm, as a statutory authority under the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS).

“The Foundation does not know whether its prevention and treatment programs are effectively reducing the severity of gambling harm,” Mr Greaves said.

“While the Foundation may help some people through its programs, it does not understand their broader impact,” he said.

“This is because the Foundation lacks an outcome-based framework to develop programs and measure their results.”

Mr Greaves said that while the Foundation funded research and program evaluation, it didn’t always use the evidence gathered to improve program design and service delivery.

He said most of the Foundation’s prevention programs involved general education and raising awareness.

“Most do not have clear objectives or outcome-based measures that enable the Foundation to know if the programs are effective in preventing harm,” he said.

“This is because the Foundation has not provided sufficient support and guidance to its funded partners to develop these.”

Mr Greaves made seven recommendations relating to his investigation, two about applying research and evaluation to improve its programs; three on developing an evaluation and outcomes framework to improve how it funds, evaluates and promotes better practice in reducing gambling harm; one on improving how Gambler’s Help refers clients between different services; and one on assessing the effectiveness of different prevention approaches.

He also made one joint recommendation to the Foundation, DJCS, the Department of Health and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing about working together to support clients with co-occurring conditions.

The Auditor-General’s 71-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.