Lisa Cheban | 31 March, 2023 11:49 | Last update on: 31 March, 2023 11:49
Recent research commissioned by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has shed light on the significant negative impacts of gambling on the country. According to the study, most Australians are concerned over the runaway gambling options, with a substantial proportion of the participants favouring a ban on TV gambling adverts.
The study’s findings reveal that at least 38% of adults in Australia engage in gambling activities weekly. Additionally, the study shows 75% of the respondents had gambled at least once last year, with 46% at risk of experiencing gambling-related harm.
Meanwhile, the study, which covered 1,765 participants, discovered that exposure to gambling advertisements significantly impacted people’s betting behaviour. 21% of respondents reported that these ads were the catalysts for their first wagers, while 28% said the ads pushed them to try a new type of wagering.
In addition, 29% of those surveyed admitted to placing bets impulsively, while 33% reported an unwanted increase in their betting activities. The research also highlights that young people are more susceptible to impulsive betting and increasing their gambling habits after watching gambling ads.
Normalizing Gambling Among Children
The bad news can’t seem to go away for the operators. Another recent research conducted by the Australian Gambling Research Centre showed that at least two-thirds of adults believe gambling adverts are excessive, and 53% feel such adverts normalize underage gambling.
The study also reveals that young people, particularly those between 18-34 years and those susceptible to gambling-related harm, are more exposed to gambling ads. One in five youthful women and one in seven young men reported that they started betting after watching betting adverts on TV.
Thankfully, the government has already swung into action to reduce the adverse effects of gambling, according to Amanda Rishworth (Minister for Social Services) and Michelle Rowland (Minister for Communications). Rishworth confirmed that the government is actively examining the possibility of regulating credit card betting and games with gambling-like elements, such as loot boxes and simulated gambling.
The Minister for Social Services also revealed that Australia’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is already investigating online gambling’s impact on individuals experiencing gambling-related harm. The inquiry will conclude whether the current gambling advert regulations bear fruit.
The Australian Gambling Research Centre, Executive Manager, Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, said: “We know the harms that gambling causes – at an individual, family and societal level – including impacts on finances, relationships, and health and wellbeing.”
“Most believe sport and race betting is ‘too common’ (69%) and ‘makes sport less family friendly’ (60%),” she added.