Advertisements for gambling and online betting tell us to “gamble responsibly ”. But what does this mean in reality? And how can you gamble responsibly online when another bet is just a click or swipe away?
A total of 64% of Australian adults gamble at least once a year, with one third of gamblers participating in multiple forms of gambling. Lottery is the most common form of gambling among those who gamble regularly (76%), followed by instant scratch tickets (22%) and electronic gaming machines (or “pokies”, almost 21%).
Up to 160,000 Australians experience significant problems from gambling, and up to a further 350,000 experience moderate risks that make them vulnerable to developing a gambling problem.
Advertisements for gambling and online betting are particularly common in Australian sport. While there has been a recent shift to regulate when and how gambling is advertised during sporting matches, there is still a heavy presence.
How to ‘gamble responsibly ’?
The phrase “gamble responsibly” on advertisements and websites was used for years before researchers and public health advocates looked at the types of behaviours that underpin it.
Responsible gambling is defined as:
Exercising control and informed choice to ensure that gambling is kept within affordable limits of money and time, is enjoyable, in balance with other activities and responsibilities, and avoids gambling-related harm.
How do I know if I have a gambling problem?
There are clear signs when gambling moves from being a hobby to becoming a mental health concern. These include:
- needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement
- feeling restless or irritable when trying to stop gambling
- trying to stop or cut back gambling unsuccessfully
- spending a lot of time thinking about gambling
- gambling when you’re feeling anxious or upset
- If you are concerned about your gambling, seek professional help and exclude yourself from gambling venues and websites.In practice, for online gambling, this might mean disabling automatic logins and deleting accounts.