Edition #4: Gambling harm

Illustration: Steven Moore

Would you marry Dan?

In the last edition of Inside gambling, we reported on a recent study into the stigma of problem gambling.

Led by Professor Nerilee Hing, the study involved surveys and interviews with over 2000 Victorian adults, including people with gambling problems.

Participants were presented with a short scenario about a fictitious gambler called Dan, then asked a series of questions about their thoughts on Dan and his gambling behaviour. Here's what they said.

This is an illustrated story in 13 frames. Frame 1: A silhouette of a bride and groom embracing with the symbols of the four card suits (heart, diamond, spade and club) with the text 'Would you marry Dan?' Frame 2: Dan, an average young man, is spinning around on a roulette wheel with the text 'This is Dan, he has a problem with gambling…' Frame 3: Dan, looking downcast, has six hands placed on his shoulders in support with the text: 'Most people would feel sorry for him.' Frame 4: Dan looks unhappy as he sits at a table looking to the right at a smiling woman whilst a man on his left is talking and also smiling. The text here is: 'And most people would want to help him.' Frame 5: Dan faces a woman with his arms raised above his head in a mock scary pose. The woman smiles and chats to him. The text reads 'Most people wouldn't find him scary.' Frame 6: Dan happily chats with a man and woman who are sitting at a table with drinks. The accompanying text states 'And most people would be happy to spend an evening socialising with him.' Frame 7: Dan looks on as a parent hands over their son to Dan to mind. The text is 'Or let him look after their children.' Frame 8: A grumpy looking man looks down over the fence at Dan who is dressed smartly for an interview with is resume in his hand. He looks disappointed and the text reads 'But a lot of people wouldn't hire him for a job he was qualified for.' Frame 9: A cheery, well dressed and hopeful Dan holds a bunch of flowers while two young women walk away from him unimpressed. The text reads 'Most people wouldn't want to date him.' Frame 10: An outline of a missing Dan in a photo with a happy bride and her parents pose in a wedding photo in a frame with the words 'And definitely wouldn't want him to marry into their family.' Frame 11: A joker from a pack of cards watches a very unhappy Dan propped on a bar. The text reads: 'Dan already feels guilty, ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed in himself.' Frame 12: Dan is face down in the street hurt whilst people walk over him. The words are 'He doesn't need you to double his burden.' Frame 13: An older, professional-looking man in a business suit shakes Dan's hand as they face each other smiling. Dan is also dressed for work and they stand in front of a city office building. The text is 'So help him, don't label him. Dan's a person, not a problem.

If you are experiencing problems with gambling, or someone close to you has a problem, call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858. Find out more about getting help.

Steven Moore
Steven Moore

Steven Moore is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist with over 25 years' experience whose work has appeared in many journals and newspapers, including The Bulletin, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and The Age. Regularly unimpressed with the state of the world and believing animals simply don't get a fair go, he has mostly given up on humanity as a viable life form.

Grace Keyworth
Grace Keyworth
Grace Keyworth was the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's media coordinator before recently returning to her Canberra roots to manage communications at a health peak body. She's successfully readjusting to roundabouts.

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