How common is gambling?

Counsellor Sam blog

Did you know that you know that approximately 70% of Australians participate in some form of gambling each year?  Gambling can, in fact, take many forms. Playing the pokies, playing table games at the casino and betting on horses are all considered gambling. Even buying a lottery ticket or ‘scratchie’ is a form of gambling.

You may think that if 70% of Australians are doing it, what’s the problem?

Well, for most people, gambling is a form of entertainment. Some people, however, can experience significant harm from gambling. They may suffer considerable financial loss, debt, relationship and family conflict and problems at work. 115 000 Australians are classified as problem gamblers and up to 500, 000 Australians classified as at risk of problem gambling. That’s huge!

If someone is only playing lotteries and scratchies, their risk of becoming a problem gambler is low. However, their risk of becoming a problem gambler increases the more often they gamble on table games, engage in wagering (e.g. betting on sports, horses, greyhounds), and especially the more they play the pokies!

The good news is, problem gambling is treatable. If you think you are experiencing problems gambling, help is available. All Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 to speak with a gambling counsellor. Free individual sessions are available to anybody who might be concerned that their gambling has gotten out of hand.

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