Gambling is one of the activities that are great when you need to relax or take a break from your everyday life. However, the fact that it can also bring money is what makes it stand out, giving people additional motivation to keep on playing.
This enthusiasm to buck the odds is precisely what can transform an entertaining activity into a bad habit. If you are not careful, gambling can start interfering with your work and relationships.
Because Australia represents such a big market, it’s important to raise awareness about what responsible gambling is and why it is significant. Stay with us to learn more about this topic.
- Gambling in Australia — How Much Is Gambled Away?
- Responsible Gambling in Australia
- How to Tell if You Have a Gambling Problem
- Responsible Gambling Guide
- Self-Exclusion and Getting Back to Gambling
- How Is Gambling Regulated in Australia?
- Reducing the Harm Caused by Gambling
Gambling in Australia — How Much Is Gambled Away?
It is a not very well-known fact that Australians are actually among the biggest gamblers in the world. In fact, half of the population gambles on the regular. This number has risen during the pandemic to 78%.counseling
Since the demand is big, so is the supply. In fact, NSW slot machines alone earned $6.5 billion just in 2019 — roughly the GDP of Fiji. Consequently, the Australian government collects billions of dollars in state taxes from gambling facilities.
Overall, players spend as much as A$24.0 billion per year while they lose between A$350 and A$12,000 individually. A great portion of that is spent in low-income households by problem gamblers. Unfortunately, as many as 170,000 residents have experienced gambling problems, according to the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission’s data.
This only amplifies how important it is to talk about responsible gambling.
Responsible Gambling in Australia
Responsible gambling is gambling that is done for the purpose of fun and entertainment only. Gamblers who play responsibly come to the gambling facility knowing how much money they can afford to lose, and they stick to that limit.
As long as you do not look at gambling as a means of earning a living, realize when you need to walk away from a game or take a break, and are aware of the negative consequences gambling can have on your life, you’re good to go.
How to Tell if You Have a Gambling Problem
There is a way to tell if gambling is taking a toll on a person and their life. Below we have compiled a list that can help you realize whether you or someone you love has a gambling problem.
These are the warning signs to pay attention to regarding finances:
- Missing money (at home or from the bank account) or valuable items
- Lacking money on a regular basis
- Borrowing money on a regular basis
- Too many unpaid bills
- Too many loans at the same time
Behavior / Mood
These are the behavioral cues to look for:
- Disengagement from events and activities with friends and family
- Poorer work performance
- Constant feelings of worry/anxiety/agitation
- Feelings of depression/hopelessness/frustration
- Suicidal thoughts
- Personality changes
- Manipulative or controlling behavior
These are the time-related signs that indicate someone might have a problem:
- Too much time spent gambling
- Secretiveness and reticence
- Plenty of days off work or unexplained absences
- Uncustomary amount of time spent on simple tasks
Responsible Gambling Guide
Certain practices help gamblers find balance and not overindulge when playing. The following guidelines will help you pursue your hobby as responsibly and as safely as possible:
- Think of gambling as no more than means of entertainment —Gambling is not a source of income or a way to earn money, and it should not be viewed or treated as such. It’s a fun distraction and a way to relax.
- Set a budget for gambling —Before you start playing, decide how much money you are willing to spend and how much you can afford to lose. Stick to that amount.
- Set a time limit for gambling —Decide on the amount of time you can spend gambling prior to playing. Stick to that time frame regardless of whether you find yourself winning or losing.
- Prepare to lose — Think of the money you’ve lost as the cost of entertainment and the money you’ve won as a bonus.
- Do not gamble on credit — Never borrow money to gamble. Don’t risk losing what you don’t have.
- Do not gamble as a way of coping — Gambling can entertain you, but it cannot resolve any emotional distress or pain.
- Make sure you’re maintaining a balance —Gambling should not disrupt or interfere with your work and relationships.
Self-Exclusion and Getting Back to Gambling
Once a person believes that they or their loved one has a gambling problem, one of the first steps toward recovery is taking a break from gambling. This break is known as self-exclusion, and it can last a few months or indefinitely.
Australia has a number of self-exclusion programs depending on the type of gambling. You can apply for them yourself, or you can register a family member or a friend. There are also plans for launching a National Self-Exclusion register (late 2021–mid-2022). Also, gambling venues usually have a registry of all persons excluded, and they tend to respect it.
Once you feel like you are doing better and are ready to get back to playing, you can cancel your exclusion. You can do this by submitting an application after your self-exclusion period is finished.
After you are back in the game, it’s essential that you don’t slip back into your old habits. Following our guidelines for responsible gambling and creating your own strategies is a good start. Keeping this practice will not be easy, and you might fall off the wagon. However, even if you relapse, look at it positively. You’ll get to know yourself better and be able to change your strategies accordingly in the future.
How Is Gambling Regulated in Australia?
Although the state and territory authorities have been in charge of gambling policies for a while, this has changed recently. With the development of online gambling and growing public concern about the effects of this pastime, the Commonwealth has become involved.
In 2001, the Interactive Gambling Act was passed. The act prohibits online gambling operators from offering and advertising real-money online interactive gambling (online casino and poker). Nonetheless, using interactive gambling services is not illegal. Furthermore, Australian companies are allowed to offer these services to people in other countries.
Finally, Australia does not impose taxes on the funds won from gambling since gambling is not considered a source of income. However, the country does tax gambling operators. The height of these taxes varies from state to state.
National Resources for Responsible Gambling
There are organizations in Australia that are dedicated to helping those who are suffering from gambling addiction. If you are worried about your own or someone else’s gambling habits, refer to these:
- Gambling helpline— This organization provides support via email, 24/7 live chat, or phone (1800 858 858).
- Gamblers anonymous — You will find support through its website.
- Gambler’s Help Youthline — It provides help for people under 25 via phone (1800 262 376).
- National Debt Hotline — The hotline offers counseling, resources, and referrals via phone (1800 007 007).
- Department of Social Services— This Australian government facility can help your family and friends who are struggling.
Reducing the Harm Caused by Gambling
It’s important to note that the responsibility regarding problem gambling doesn’t only fall on individuals but on the whole of society. It is a growing issue in Australia — and therefore, a public concern.
In order to help minimize the harm that problem gambling causes, several steps need to be taken:
- Doing the research and understanding what kind of harm gambling causes on a daily basis
- Identifying at-risk groups
- Developing programs and creating strategies to prevent harmful effects of gambling
- Creating programs and providing services to treat problem gambling and addiction
When am I gambling responsibly?
You are gambling responsibly when you are in control of how much time and money you are spending on this activity. Gamble for fun rather than for earnings, and only gamble with the money you can afford to lose. You should also be aware of the fact that you might either lose or win. Finally, don’t gamble to cope with emotional pain or to win back what you’ve lost.
What is problem gambling?
Problem gambling is what happens when a person is not able to limit the time or the money they spend while gambling. These habits can influence their career or personal life negatively.
What are codes of conduct when it comes to responsible gambling?
Certain organizations that hold gambling licenses have to have the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct (the Code). The Code includes clear provisions regarding product information, self-exclusion/exclusion, responsible gambling, and assistance and counselling services.
What does responsible gambling mean?
Responsible gambling represents gambling done for fun while being wary of its potentially negative effects at the same time.
Why is gambling responsibly important?
Responsible gambling is important because it protects the players and their lives as a whole from being negatively affected and harmed by gambling problems.