Problem gambling is present all around the world. Despite all the actions taken by governments, legislators, regulators, and other involved bodies, some people still tend to use wagering in a harmful way. This is why they had to step up in Australia to tackle problem gambling with new solutions.
Most gamblers use online gambling sites for what they were made for. To entertain people and to give them a more exciting time while looking forward to events all around the world. But some of them tend to misuse them. This is what brought Problem Gambling Awareness Month into being in the US. Or the Problem Gambling Research Fund in Gibraltar. But we could mention new solutions in France or Trinidad & Tobago, and self-exclusion schemes in the UK as well. And now, it is the Island Country, Australia that is offering solutions for gambling problems in the country.
Problem gambling in Australia
First, we would like to address, why problem gambling solutions are needed in Australia. Most people are enjoying online gambling sites in Australia, just like they should. They place bets at Bet365 when there is a big event coming up. They buy lottery tickets from time to time. Or they sometimes visit casinos, to let the steam off. However, some of them are not up to the same practice. Finder.au puts it this way: “For many Australians, gambling is a form of entertainment and it’s an occasional activity they engage in. However, when this activity becomes more regular and starts holding a place of increased importance in your life, it starts to become a problem.”
You might ask, when is it a problem? “Problem gambling also occurs when you are unable to limit the amount of money or time spent, it can strain your relationships and your career. It can also lead to stress, mental health issues, and loss of control.” They also go into detail about how many people are involved. “In fact, 0.5-1.0% of Australian adults are problem gamblers according to Central Coast Gambling Help, and a further 1.4-2.1% of adults experience moderate risks.” This is why Westpac decided to step in and make a change.
Problem Gambling Solutions in Australia
For non-Aussies: Westpac is one of the nation’s biggest banks. And it is the company that decided to help online gambling addicts to curb their habits. They plan to do it with a new tech feature. That is to prevent problem gamblers from accessing digital gambling transactions. And how is it working? Well, they are integrating a feature into their mobile and online banking platforms. A feature that can real-time prevent customers from conduction transactions with a gaming merchant. Westpac only launched it a couple of weeks back, but it already looks like to be a success. They have already recorded over 2500 customers enabling the addition!
Thoughts on the new steps
The government welcomed the solutions to tackle problem gambling in Australia. Families and social services minister, Anne Ruston said: “Westpac’s digital gambling block will give Australians a convenient, sensible and immediate way to manage their spending and minimize gambling-related harm (…) “It is great to see that groups in the industry have identified that gambling is a serious cause for concern and are taking steps to let their customers regulate the industry.”
On the other side, Westpac director of customer vulnerability Catherine Fitzpatrick claimed: “The new feature complements our existing service where customers can also call us to request a gambling block to be applied to their card to stop certain transactions, including at casinos, sports betting agencies and online gambling.”
So, it looks like Australia is doing its best to help out residents. However, you should keep one thing in mind. It is gamblers’ duty in the first place to look after themselves while wagering online. There are several online sportsbook sites in Australia that offer fun and exciting free times activities, like Bet365, and you should always use them for their best qualities – not to harm yourself. But if you do use them in the right way: keep up the good work!