Gambling Participation, Expenditure and Risk of Harm in Australia, 1997–1998 and 2010–2011

By Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M.

Abstract: Gambling-related harm results primarily from financial losses. Internationally Australia continues to rank as the largest spending nation per capita on gambling products. This would suggest that Australian gamblers are at disproportionately high risk of harm despite almost two decades of industry scrutiny and regulation, and investment in research, treatment and education programs. However, declines in participation rates, per capita expenditure, household expenditure, national disposable income spent on gambling and problem gambling rates have been cited as evidence that fewer people are gambling, that gamblers are spending less, and that gambling safety in Australia has improved. The current study investigated these propositions using national population and accounts data, and statistics from Australia’s two population-representative gambling surveys conducted in 1997–1998 and 2010–2011. Despite a falling participation rate the study found no real change in the number of people gambling overall, and increasing numbers consuming casino table games, race wagering and sports betting. Further found were increases rather than decreases in average gambler expenditure, overall, and across most products, particularly electronic gaming machines (EGMs). Potentially risky levels of average expenditure were observed in both periods, overall and for race wagering, casino table gaming, and EGMs. Changes in the proportion of income spent on gambling suggest risks declined overall and for race wagering and casino table gaming, but increased for EGMs. Finally, while problem gambling statistics were not comparable between periods, the study found double the number of moderate risk gamblers previously estimated for 2010–2011 amongst the 2 million Australians found to have experienced one or more gambling-related problems. The findings have implications for public health policy and resourcing, and the way in which prevalence and expenditure statistics have been interpreted by researchers, government and industry in Australia and elsewhere.

Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M. (2017). Gambling Participation, Expenditure and Risk of Harm in Australia, 1997–1998 and 2010–2011. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-017-9708-0

 

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Problem Gambling in a Sample of Older Adult Casino Gamblers Associations With Gambling Participation and Motivations

Maas, M. van der, Mann, R. E., McCready, J., Matheson, F. I., Turner, N. E., Hamilton, H. A., … Ialomiteanu, A. (2016).

As older adults continue to make up a greater proportion of the Canadian population, it becomes more important to understand the implications that their leisure activities have for their physical and mental health. Gambling, in particular, is a form of leisure that is becoming more widely available and has important implications for the mental health and financial well-being of older adults. This study examines a large sample (2103) of casino-going Ontarian adults over the age of 55 and identifies those features of their gambling participation that are associated with problem gambling. Logistic regression analysis is used to analyze the data. Focusing on types of gambling participated in and motivations for visiting the casino, this study finds that several forms of gambling and motivations to gamble are associated with greater risk of problem gambling. It also finds that some motivations are associated with lower risk of problem gambling. The findings of this study have implications related to gambling availability within an aging population.