ACT releases results of recent gambling survey

by Ethan Anderson Last Updated
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The government of the Australian Capital Territory commissioned a survey about gambling in the territory during the past 12 months, with the recently delivered findings more expansive and detailed than those from previous surveys.

Casino Aus reports the findings from the Australian National University conducted survey were released at the end of October, during Gambling Harm Awareness Week.

The ACT Gambling Survey 2019 was commissioned and funded by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission, with studies of this nature regularly commissioned to examine the social effects of recreational gambling and any type of subsequent gambling harm.

The university’s Centre of Gambling Research was the natural choice for the survey due to a 16-year history as the hub for such research.

It was originally established a partnership between the university and the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission at its inception.

Currently, it operated under the direction of Dr Marisa Paterson.

The 2019 survey was the same one that has been run every five years and updates statistics, programs, resources and plans.

A total of 10,000 ACT residents were interviewed as part of the survey, aged 18 years and over, with the survey conducted over mobile phones and landlines during a six week period in April and May this year.

The results are in

The survey showed that 60 per cent of respondents participated in some form of gambling in the past 12 months.

44 per cent bought at least one lottery ticket, the most popular form of gambling noted in the survey.

20 per cent bought an instant scratch ticket, 20 per cent used an electronic gaming machine, 14 per cent bet on a horse or greyhound race and 10 per cent bet on a sporting event.

The most likely gamblers were males aged 18 to 44 years, and they most often engaged in keno, race and sports betting, electronic gambling machines and casino table games.

Of all males in the Act, 64 per cent participated in at least one form of gambling, with 56 per cent of females participating in at least one form of gambling.

Respondents were asked to categorise their gambling as per three categories: low, medium or high frequency.

One-third of gamblers said they were in the low frequency category, gambling less than once per month.

27 per cent were medium or high frequency gamblers, with high frequency gamblers gambling weekly, four or more times per month.

Lottery was the most frequently used form of gambling, played on average 8.4 times per year, nearly double that of betting on horse or greyhound racing at 4.8 times per year.

As far as gambling harm statistics are concerned, five per cent of the territory’s adults are personally impacted by another person’s gambling, which equates to approximately 17,000 people.

More alarming was the notion that 14 per cent of the people affected by others’ gambling habits wanted support, but did not know how to obtain that help.

And a quarter of the people never discussed the harmful gambling with the person doing the gambling.

Only 2 per cent of gamblers ever sought help for gambling in the past 12 months and those aged 60 and older were the most likely to be unaware of where to find gambling help.

Of the 2 per cent that did seek help, half only went as far as internet searches, with 15 per cent calling a gambling helpline and 12 per cent approaching family members or friends.

Following the survey results, Dr Paterson noted the results must be seriously considered.

“Harms from gambling might seem small at first but it can escalate quickly and significantly impact a person’s life,” ACT Gambling and Racing Commission CEO David Snowden said.

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