New research reveals 70 percent of Australians living in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) feel automatic teller machines (ATM) should not be allowed in the same venues as slot machines and poker machines. Moreover, 58 percent think that the amount of gambling machines throughout the state is excessive and needs to be reduced.
Even though 70 percent confessed to gambling over the past year, 75 percent hold the opinion that gambling does more harm than good. 33 percent of these admitted to wagering on electronic gambling machines. 3 percent gambled on at least 48 different occasions. Additionally, the report indicated “about 5 per cent of [pokie] players reported losses of at least $5000 [AUD] or more in the past 12 months and 7 per cent were identified as moderate or problem gamblers.”
Despite the national popularity of gambling, merely about 5 percent of adults indulge in internet gambling in Australia. Just 1 percent wager real money at Australian Internet casinos. 9 percent of internet gamblers conceded losses over the past year and 10 percent were classified as either moderate risk of problem gamblers.
This research was performed by the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University in a study sponsored by the ACT Gaming and Racing Commission. In 2009, this study also demonstrated that 7.9 percent of adults suffered at one or more symptoms linked to gambling addiction. Furthermore, 2.9 percent were classed as “moderate risk or problem gamblers”. Only 20 percent of problem gamblers were seeking support with most being disinterested in help.
Andrew Barr, Gaming and Racing Minister described the report as a significant foundation towards creating policies around Australian gambling laws which better redress the matter of gambling addiction. The Government has already consented to a Green party proposal what pokie operators must contribute to a centralized fund for treating problem gamblers. Barr now wishes to reduce the gambling machine maximum by 143 pokies and raise these contributions from 7 percent to 8 percent.