The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants to introduce new laws against online gambling addiction.
Key points:The ABC’s Victoria Trillium reports that gambling addiction is a growing problem in Australia, with a report predicting it will hit $4 billion in 2018The ABC has also uncovered gambling addiction rates in New South Wales and Victoria are among the highestThe ABC is looking to create a new national gambling policy to tackle online gambling Addiction is a serious problem in Australian society, with an estimated 4.5 million people saying they have tried to quit gambling, and 2.5% of people aged 15 and over saying they were addicted to it.
The ACT Government is currently reviewing gambling addiction laws and is looking at creating a national gambling strategy.
The ACCC has published a report, The New Australian Strategy for Gambling Addiction, in which it argues that online gambling is a significant problem.
“Gambling addiction is an ongoing and serious problem with widespread societal and social consequences, which have the potential to increase the risk of future gambling addiction and harm,” the report states.
“The public health consequences of gambling addiction are clear and have been recognised for decades.”
What you need to know about gambling addictionIn the first stage of the research, researchers examined the mental health and physical health of gambling addicts.
In this stage of research, the researchers used a survey of 1,600 people in NSW, Victoria and Queensland who said they had tried to stop gambling but were unable to.
“We were interested in how people are affected by gambling addiction,” Dr Mark Robinson from the Queensland University of Technology said.
“And what we found was that there were a range of different responses, and we were also able to capture some really significant disparities in response.”
There was a lot of variability in how the different responses were expressed.
There were responses where the person would say, ‘I’m just fine with it’, or they would say they were fine with the problem, but there was also a response where they would call it out as a serious issue.
“Dr Robinson said the research was important because it allowed them to “see what’s going on in terms of mental health, in terms to physical health, and in terms what’s happening with the physical health.””
What we found is that people who have gambled or gambled a lot or are addicted to gambling have a lot different problems in terms the physical, social and emotional health,” he said.
Dr Robinson told the ABC that his research also indicated that the risk for physical and social harm was increased if gambling addiction was identified early.”
It’s important that people are aware of what is going on with their mental health,” Dr Robinson said.
The Australian Government has already created a national strategy for gambling addiction, and is also looking at the creation of a national online gambling strategy, which will include an online gambling service.
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