Fighting Australian Gambling Addiction
Gambling appears to be a national pastime of Australia. From 2016 to 2017, citizens spent an astronomical $23.7 billion on everything from sports betting to poker machines. This total ranks first among all nations, and it’s been that way for a long time.
Volatile Time for Australian Gambling
This is a chaotic time for gamblers in Australia and New Zealand. While other nations place greater restrictions on gambling, Aussie lawmakers are under increased pressure to act. Just take a look at the following factoids and you’ll see why.
- Annual gambling losses across Australia have been estimated to be in the range of $24 billion.
- Crown Resorts is currently facing a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers and the media.
- Credit cards issued by the Macquarie Group can no longer be used for gambling-related transactions.
- A study by Nielsen Holdings showed that Aussies over 55 make up the majority of the nation’s online gamers.
- Studies have found that 40% of pokie revenue comes from those with a gambling addiction.
- Supermarket chain Woolworths is in the process of getting out of the gambling business. Of course, it’s likely that someone else will wind up with their 12,000 pokies.
A Small Confession
This site makes money by promoting various online casinos. While we enjoy imparting information, it’s not our intention to make a profit at the expense of vulnerable players.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with buying an occasional scratchy or playing online blackjack. However, any hobby can be take too far. When that happens, a person transitions from simple player to gambling addict.
In order to do our part to help, we’ve put together the following lists. The first is a series of questions meant to ascertain if you have a gambling problem. The second is a series of websites dedicated to helping problem gamblers and their families.
Instead of adopting a predatory attitude towards our readership, it’s our desire to help however we can. After all, we Aussies (and Kiwis) have to stick together.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Gambling addicts often know deep down that they have a problem. However, this isn’t always the case. Some are genuinely surprised to find that they’re suffering from a gambling disorder.
If you’re unsure about your current status, I suggest asking yourself the following 16 questions:
- Do I constantly think about gambling?
- Have I tried to stop gambling but found myself unable to do so?
- When I tried to stop or cut back on gambling, did I become irritable?
- Have I ever gambled in an effort to make up for prior losses?
- Has my gambling habit ever caused me to lose a job or relationship?
- Have I ever stolen money in order to gamble?
- Have friends or family expressed concern about my gambling?
- Do I ever gamble when I’m feeling depressed or anxious?
- Have I ever borrowed money from friends or family in order to gamble?
- Have I ever had to borrow money to pay bills because of my gambling habits?
- Do I devote all of my free time to gambling?
- Have I ever skipped work in order to gamble?
- Do I consistently lie to cover up my gambling losses?
- Have I kept my gambling a secret from those around me?
- Has the thrill of gambling started to diminish? Have I been risking more money in order to compensate?
- Have I ever lied to friends or family about how much I gamble?
If you answered “yes” to one or two of these questions, then you might have a problem. If the number of affirmatives was higher, then you should seek help immediately.
Getting Help for Gambling Addiction
Fortunately, there are a number of resources available for those with a gambling problem. A Google search will turn up additional options, but the following list is a good place to start.
Australasian Gaming Council – This site has links to various self-exclusion programs in Australia and New Zealand. This allows you to block yourself from playing at online and land-based casinos, as well as bookmakers and brokers. You can also call 1800 858 858 in Australia and 0800 654 655 in New Zealand.
Gamblers Anonymous – Holds free meetings across Australia and New Zealand. Has contact information for all the various chapters.
Problem Gambling – This site includes help and support for gamblers, as well as their friends and family. There’s a helpful mobile app to help you stay on track, as well as a 24/7 helpline.
Gambling Help Online – Includes meeting locations, a toll-free hotline, and a handy assessment tool. Chat and email counselling is also available for problem gamblers and their family.
Mission Australia – A Christian charity that deals with homelessness, mental health issues, and various forms of addiction. You can locate a service in your area or volunteer to help others.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation – This service informs Victorian residents about the risks of gambling. They also provide support for gamblers and their families. It’s a much needed resource, especially when you consider that Victorians lost $2.698 billion on pokies alone last year.
Compulsive gambling is a real and potentially crippling addiction. Unfortunately, Aussies seem more susceptible to this problem than anyone else on the planet.
We here at Australian Casino Sites take pride in providing quality information and advice. However, we never want to do that to the detriment of our readers.
I urge you to ask yourself the questions provided earlier in this article. If you answer “yes” to several of the questions, then you should accept the harsh reality that you have a gambling problem.
Keep in mind, however, that having a gambling addiction isn’t the end of the world. There are numerous people and organizations willing to help. All you have to do is take the first step and seek help.