Hooked on Gambling: By Choice or by Design?

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Event Details

11 October 2017 at 6:00 pm – 11 October 2017 at 7:30 pm
Deakin Edge Auditorium, Federation Square, Melbourne
Open to:
Medicine, Nursing, Health Science


Science is providing new insights into the way that gaming machines, like pokie machines, and our social environments can powerfully manipulate our thoughts and behaviour… But what should we do about it?

Join a world-leading panel of experts to debate whether gambling is a personal choice or a behaviour driven by the sophisticated design of gaming machines and social environments. 

  • Can people make a self-endorsed decision to gamble that is free from the influence of machine design and the gambling environment?
  • How much control do design elements have on gambling behaviour?
  • How do gaming machines exploit the psychology of decision-making to maximise gambling?
  • What can be done to change our social environments to minimise the adverse impact of gambling while ensuring individuals’ freedom to have a flutter?

The event is hosted by Prof Murat Yücel and Dr Adrian Carter of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN). The panel discussion will feature a number of experts including

  • Rev Tim Costello AO: spokesperson for Alliance for Gambling Reform, Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia, former spokesperson for the Interchurch Gambling Taskforce and former member of the National Advisory Body on Gambling
  • Dr Charles Livingstone: Senior Lecturer and head of the Gambling and Social Determinants unit (Monash University, Australia)
  • Carolyn Hirsh: Psychologist, author of 'Politics, Death and Addiction', former politician in the Victorian legislature, and past gambler who regularly shares her lived experience

The event will open with a performance from Three Sides of the Coin, capturing the personal stories of those affected by gambling.

This event is an initiative of the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund and is part of Victorian Mental Health Week. Twitter hashtag: #DWTEF

In the lead-up to the event, we invite individuals, community groups and schools to enter the video competition ($3,000 in prizes available). The winning entries will be screened in the event's foyer from 5pm.

For information and to enter, please visit Hooked on Gambling Video Competition 2017 website.