Remember When A Phone Was For Talking, Not Betting?

The impact of online and sports betting is a growing concern for business and community leaders according to the organisers of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, 26 May - 1 June, 2014.

The impact of online and sports betting is a growing concern for business and community leaders according to the organisers of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, 26 May - 1 June, 2014.

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo says the changing nature of gambling is a challenge for our community.

“Victorians have tripled their spending on sports betting in just five years, gambling $128 million in 2011-121, making up around a third of the Australian total.

“While the full impact of this is not well understood, we know online gamblers are three times more likely to have gambling problems than other gamblers2,” he said.

A new report into interactive gambling2 suggests online gamblers could be at greater risk because its available 24/7, is convenient, uses credit not cash and you can play in private possibly hiding betting from family and friends.

The report shows young men are more likely to gamble online, are early adopters and active consumers of mobile technology and are the main target of sports betting companies.

“It-s a concern because young men aged between 18 and 24 are also more likely to develop problems with gambling, making up around a quarter of all at-risk gamblers,” said Mr Sardo.

Mr Sardo says it-s not just online gambling that-s changed.

“We-re being urged to bet now, bet on the run and bet often to the point where a punt is no longer a kick, a phone is for betting not talking and a night out is no longer about keeping in touch with friends but for gambling.

“The overt marketing of gambling as essential to having fun at the footy or be attractive to women has subtly changed how we see gambling,” he said.

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week is about challenging that shift, urging the community to put gambling back in its place.

“Having the occasional flutter, staying in control and maintaining balance between gambling and other activities is what safer gambling is all about,” said Mr Sardo.

Local community events are being held across the state throughout Responsible Gambling Awareness Week. Click here for more details.

1. Australian Gambling Statistics, 28th edition, Government Statistician, Queensland Treasury and Trade, 2014.

2. Hing N., Gainsbury S., Blaszczynski, A., Wood, R. Lubman, D. and Russell, A. (2014) Interactive Gambling. Gambling Research Australia. March 2014.

3. Department of Justice, A study of gambling in Victoria, 2009.