The legalisation of internet sports gambling, accompanied by the development of smart phone gambling apps, has made sports betting ever more readily accessible and acceptable. This widespread acceptance of gambling in Australian culture has seen a large increase in gambling advertising during sporting events. Tom Waterhouse’s in-game presence with the NRL’s TV commentary team, spruiking betting odds, was perhaps the most notorious recent illustration of gambling pervading mainstream culture.
All of this exposure has integrated gambling into the fabric of everyday Australian life. Gambling is portrayed as a fun activity, commonly associated with socialising, drinking, sports, and taking some time-out. With all of these positive impressions out there, it is not surprising that many of us form positive associations with “having a punt” with many unaware of the dangers of gambling. For some, this positive association can lead to a slippery slope of increasingly harmful gambling.
For those who think they may have a problem with sports gambling, poker machines or any other form of gambling, help is available. A gambling counsellor can be found by calling Gambling Help on 1800 858 858. Free individual sessions are available to anybody who might be concerned their gambling has gotten out of hand.