Background: Electronic gambling machines (EGMs) are in casinos and community venues (hotels and clubs) in all jurisdictions in Australia, except Western Australia (only in casino). EGMs have a range of features that can affect how people gamble, which can influence losses incurred by users. The Northern Territory Government recently changed two EGM policies – the introduction of note acceptors on EGMs in community venues, and an increase in the cap from 10 to 20 EGMs in hotels and 45 to 55 in clubs. This study evaluates two changes in EGM policy on user losses in community venues, and tracks changes in user losses per adult, EGM gambler, and EGM problem/moderate risk gambler between 2005 and 2015. Access online article
Reference: Stevens, M. & Livingstone, C. (2019). Evaluating changes in electronic gambling machine policy on user losses in an Australian jurisdiction. BMC Public Health, 19(517). Retrieved from https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-6814-1
Summary: Overall, the outcomes presented in this report show progress has been made in reducing gambling harm and inequalities in New Zealand. However, since approximately 2012 the downward movement in harm levels has plateaued. A range of research-based explanations for these outcomes has been identified and presented. Research has shown that the plateauing in harm reduction is not unique to New Zealand.
Progress has also been made across all of the 11 objectives set out in the Ministry’s integrated Strategy in a number of the areas, although challenges to further progress have been identified. These results imply that the current harm reduction activities should be reviewed and reinvigorated if the aim is to further reduce levels of gambling harm and inequities.
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Reference: Ministry of Health. (2018). Progress on Gambling harm reduction 2010 to 2017: Outcomes report – New Zealand strategy to prevent and minimise gambling harm. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Abstract: Australian women have one of the highest levels of access to gambling of anywhere in the world. Problem gambling amongst Australian women is now a critical public health issue, fuelled by the widespread expansion of electronic gaming machines in casinos and suburban hotels and clubs, growth in alternative gambling products, the liberalisation of social attitudes to gambling, and increased financial and social independence of women. Recent increased access to gambling through the Internet and social media has also diversified women’s experience of gambling problems. However, research into Australian women’s gambling has been minimal, despite concerns about the feminisation of gambling. This chapter aims to review research into problem gambling amongst Australian women, highlighting key findings, limitations, gaps in knowledge, implications, and future research directions.
Drawing on three decades of Australian research, including prevalence studies, in-depth qualitative studies and clinical studies, women’s gambling behaviour, motivations, problem gambling, help-seeking, treatment and support are examined. Comparisons between male and female problem gamblers, and between female recreational and female problem gamblers, will highlight distinctive aspects of women’s problem gambling. This review will deepen understanding, inform gambling policy and public health and clinical responses, and facilitate international comparisons.
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Reference: SHing, N., Nuske, E., & Breen, H. (2019). A review of research into problem gambling amongst Australian women. In, Problem gambling in women: An international perspective. Lismore, Australia: Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University.
By Ruth Herd. A thesis submitted to Auckland University of Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Health Science (DHSc), July 2018, School of Public Health and Psychosocial Science.
In Aotearoa, New Zealand, the cultural milieu has been re-shaped by commercial gambling. Urban taiohi Māori experience diverse realities and for many ‘gambling is a fact of life.’ Commercial gambling was viewed as a good thing by those whose marae or sports clubs were supported by community trusts and Lottery funding. While others view gambling as damaging communities where people are already struggling.
The purpose of this exploratory study was to discuss with taiohi Māori their perspectives on gambling among their whānau, hapū, iwi and communities. The aims of the study were to: (a) to explore the thoughts and views of taiohi (aged between 16 and 24 years of age) about gambling, and (b) to understand these thoughts and views as they relate to preventing and reducing harm from problem gambling among Māori whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities. Access thesis from AUT: Tuwhera Open Theses & Dissertations
Odedeji Odeloye (2018). A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, University of Lethbridge in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Science, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Abstract: Gambling poses a public health threat due to the harmful effects on individuals,family, and the community at large. Although most of the consequences experienced by problem gamblers are well documented, less is known about the experiences of other group of gamblers such as low severity gamblers. The purpose of this study was to examine the social, health and economic correlates for lower severity gambling (low and moderate risk) and to identify their sociodemographic characteristics. Binary logistic regressions were used to analyse data from the cross-sectional study of 4303 participants in Tasmania. When compared with problem gamblers, low and moderate risk gamblers were more likely to have better quality of life. Furthermore, low risk gamblers were highly educated, older female immigrants, with higher annual income, and less likely to experience problems with drug use, chronic illnesses, finances and life event. These findings have implications for health education and harm minimization. Access thesis online
Amy Bestman, Samantha L. Thomas, Melanie Randle, Hannah Pitt & Mike Daube. (2018). Attitudes towards community gambling venues and support for regulatory reform: an online panel study of residents in New South Wales, Australia
Harm Reduction Journal 15:15. doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0218-x
Harmful gambling has been identified as an important public health issue that affects individuals, families and the broader community. One gambling product, electronic gambling machines (EGMs), has been associated with significant gambling harm in Australia. There has been limited research that has explored community perceptions of EGMs and attitudes towards reform. This study, conducted in NSW, Australia, aimed to explore community use of EGM venues (clubs and hotels containing EGMs), attitudes towards EGMs and whether the use of these venues influenced attitudes towards EGM reform.
An online survey was conducted with 500 adults aged 16 years and over, representative of the population for age and gender. Discrete choice and open-ended questions were used to gather data on gambling behaviours, use of and attitudes towards EGMs and EGM venues and support for gambling harm reduction measures.
Three quarters of participants had visited an EGM venue in the previous year. Participants who had attended such venues were significantly more likely to use EGMs at least once per month. Participants attended EGM venues for a range of reasons including use of non-gambling facilities such as restaurants, the social aspects of the venue and ease of access to the venue. Some participants also attended EGM venues specifically for the gambling facilities. Most participants identified some negative impacts of EGMs for local communities and were supportive of measures to reduce the number of EGMs and prevent children’s exposure to EGMs in such venues.
This study shows a high level of support for EGM reform amongst both individuals who attend EGM venues and also those who do not. There is potential for government to further regulate EGMs and the environments where they are located. Read full article.
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