“The ills and harmful effects of gambling are well-known.
Gambling is a game of luck, but luck doesn’t last forever.”
Sharon Tan, Chasing the Luck? poetry competition winner
Chasing the Luck? was an award-winning Inner East Primary Care Partnership project designed to promote responsible gambling and to raise awareness of the harm from gambling, in Melbourne’s inner east Chinese-speaking communities.
Chasing the Luck? was funded by The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and won the 2015 VicHealth award for Communications in Health Promotion. Activities under the project included: the development of an extensive media campaign in both traditional and innovative social media spaces such as Weibo and WeChat; a dedicated Chasing the Luck? website; and an online competition with the dual purpose of promoting responsible gambling and developing promotional messages and marketing materials.
‘The competition gave me the chance to reflect on my gambling behaviour and heal myself through writing. I have changed my gambling habits now. I felt so encouraged when I got the prize from the competition. Now, I love writing and direct my energy to do writing instead of gambling.’ (Translated) Chasing the Luck? competition participant
Chasing the Luck? was successful because:
- It enabled honest and open conversations about gambling within the Chinese-speaking community without the risk of stigma;
- By taking a strengths-based approach, community organisations and individuals were enabled to contribute in a positive way to strengthening their own community;
- The project harnessed the efforts of community organisations that have been concerned about gambling and provided them with tools and resources to strengthen their approach to prevention;
- The project connected and empowered a wide range of stakeholders, and united action that was previously not coordinated into a more seamless platform.
A key feature of the project was the co-design approach. There was extensive consultation with the Chinese community and engagement of many Chinese and mainstream services in the development and delivery of the project. Inner East PCP commitment to, and experience in, partnership work was of vital importance to the success of this project. In total, there were 31 project partners involved in Chasing the Luck? including; Manningham, Boroondara, Monash and Whitehorse City Councils, Link Health & Community, EACH Social and Community Health, and many Chinese community organisations in the EMR including Chinese Peer Connect, Chinese Gambling Concern Inc, 3CW Chinese Radio, and the Federation of Chinese Associations (Vic).
The aims of the Chasing the Luck? project were to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of the inner east Chinese-speaking community by:
- Working with the Chinese community leaders to develop and deliver prevention activities in the Chinese language;
- Improving access to knowledge and information on gambling, recreation, social, and health services resources; and
- Influencing gambling attitudes and behaviour by raising awareness of responsible gambling messages through mass media in the Chinese languages.
Chasing the Luck? was designed to benefit the Chinese-speaking population by disseminating information and creating dialogue in a culturally respectful and non-stigmatising manner. Extensive community consultation identified that the traditional messaging associated with responsible gambling promotion was culturally inappropriate for the Chinese-speaking target group. A community and media expert group was convened to identify key media channels through which to deliver the most culturally appropriate responsible gambling messages.
Five themes were developed and delivered around an approach of ‘Investing in Community Strengths’ to highlight the strengths embedded in Chinese culture and the Chinese wisdoms when dealing with gambling-related harm:
- Deconstructing gambling (the odds of winning is virtually zero)
- Speak up and seek help
- Self-help (promotion of the Problem Gambling Severity Index – Chinese version)
- Professional help for support network (support for family members)
- Active community participation (social involvement/community participation).
Due to the Chinese language media saturation method used to facilitate community conversation, the impact of Chasing the Luck extended beyond the communities of Melbourne’s inner east. In particular, the social media sites of WEIBO and WeChat enabled responsible gambling promotion materials to be widely spread. Chasing the Luck? harnessed existing work and enthusiasm in the Chinese community, and in doing so generated an extensive collaborative effort.
Chasing the Luck? successfully reached an estimated 35% of the Chinese-speaking community in Victoria. Of that, 0.7% were actively engaged. This translates to 6458 active participants. Overall, it is estimated that Chasing the Luck? promotional messages were exposed over 281,000 times through the media in the twelve months from July 2014.
Deakin University have evaluated the effectiveness of the Inner East PCP Chasing the Luck? media campaign in increasing knowledge and awareness around gambling in the Chinese-speaking community in eastern Melbourne.
The Deakin University evaluation found:
- Respondents felt they had more knowledge about treatment for gambling after the campaign;
- More people were confident in speaking to a family member or friend about gambling;
- Respondents knew where to go for gambling-related assistance.