The Need

The ACT Government sought a learning partner to provide support for the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission’s Strategy for Gambling Harm Prevention in the ACT: A Public Health Approach 2019 – 2024. The strategy was part of the response to delivering on the commitment to implement strong gambling harm reduction measures while supporting a sustainable, diverse and vibrant club industry that makes a valuable contribution to the ACT community.

The Challenge

The learning solution needed to recongnise the shift in gambling policy, regulation and treatment strategies. Traditionally these evolved from approaching gambling harm as an issue of personal responsibility. Initiatives tended to target individual gamblers, either providing treatment for ‘problem gamblers’ or preventing people from becoming ‘problem gamblers’. The strategies  focussed on informing people about how gambling products work, responsible gambling and how to seek help if they have a problem. The shift in focus was to a public health approach, which takes a broad perspective about responsibility and areas for action. Instead of focussing only on treating ‘problem gamblers’ it also aims to prevent problems and promote wellbeing.  

The learning solution was required to be delivered to a variety of clubs across the ACT to Gambling Contact Officers (GCOs) and to Club Board Members.

The Solution

Wisdom consulted with the ACT Government, Club Board Members, and Gambling Contact Officers and developed two programs.

Program 1: Gambling Contact Officers (GCOs)

It was identified that clubs would benefit from understanding the needs of patrons experiencing gambling harm, connect with them, and help to minimise or mitigate that harm. Rather than covering the basics of the GCOs role, the training builds on what GCOs have learnt in the past and covertly challenges them to take increased responsibility for preventing gambling harm in their clubs. The four-hour program focuses on two key areas: developing the right mindset and enhancing capability to be more effective in assisting patrons who may be exposed to gambling harm. The program also refreshes a variety of other topics such as recognising signs of gambling harm, support services/resources available, and assisting patrons wishing to return after self-exclusion. 

As the program is considered ‘compliance training’ it was important that the program was designed to be engaging, interactive and entertaining – with the aim of keeping the GCOs’ interest and maximising their knowledge retention.

Program 2: Club Board Members

This training solution offered Board Members an opportunity to understand how their role plays a critical part in developing an organisational culture. The two hour program uses current research, storytelling, and a modular engaging approach to: 

explore their role developing an organisational culture in clubs that supports front line staff in managing patrons who show signs of gambling harm

refresh awareness of obligations and responsibilities under the ACT Gambling and Racing Control (Code of Practice) Regulation 2002, the Gaming Machine Act 2004, and their responsibility to ensure venues meet gaming licensee obligations

identify opportunities to impact change

identify the value and importance of GCO’s remaining proactive in preventing gambling harm.

The Impact

Wisdom have trained 169 Gambling Contact Officers and 360 Board Members across the ACT, achieving the following results:


increase in ability to explain the public health approach to gambling harm prevention


increase in ability to list the key GCO obligations relating to gambling harm


increase in their confidence to know how and when to appropriately assist patrons who show signs of gambling harm


of participants would recommend this program to other staff

At Wisdom, we prioritise learning need, informed by business need, and then ensure these are met through our program design, including whether a qualification will add value to your business.

Contact Wisdom on 02 6257 8588 or to discuss how our integrated training approach can help your organisation.

Are we right for you?

Committed organisation, willing to invest in people, want to create change, long-term partnerships, bespoke/tailored programs