- 15 per cent of Australian adults (18 years+) gamble regularly (excluding those that only play the Lotto or “scratchies”).
- Roughly one in ten of those adults would be classified as ‘problem gamblers’, with an additional 15 per cent experiencing ‘moderate risks’.
- Estimates of the number of problem gamblers in Australia are around 125,000. Another 290,000 Australians are estimated to be at moderate-risk of developing a gambling problem.
- Australians lose more than $18 billion dollars in gambling a year. $12 billion is lost on poker machines each year.
- Governments took more than $ 4 billion dollars in tax from gambling revenue in 2007.
- Tax revenue from poker machines accounts for 13.1 per cent of Victoria’s Governments Tax Revenue. InNSW it is, 9.4 per cent and 9.6 per cent in Queensland.
The Official Sector $18.19 Billion
- 20 per cent of the world’s poker machines are in Australia (2004) This was approximately 200,000 machines. Half of these are in NSW.
- Australia has five times the number of poker machines than the USA.
- Poker machines players can lose up to $1,200 an hour.
- The average poker machine player loses $380 a year. The average Problem Gambler loses $21,000 a year.
- In 2004, a poker machine made could make up to four (4) times the average persons annual income ($200,000 year).
- The minimum poker machine payout in Australia is 87 per cent over the lifetime of the machine (20 years). The average return to player is 91 per cent. Therefore the club, pub or casino always wins – the machine is programmed to take roughly ten per cent on every press or spin (10c from every $1 played).
- Every spin on a poker machine is independent of the previous turn. It is a computer program.
- There is nothing that you can do that can affect the outcome of a game.
Responsible Gambling Tips
- Gamble for the fun of it, not the money.
- Set yourself a limit (time and money) and don’t exceed it.
- Don’t chase your losses. Leave. Walk away.
- Think of the people who need your support.
- Stay in control and gamble responsibly.
- Never borrow to gamble (including using credit cards) — make sure the money you are spending on gambling is your own.
Problem Gambling Checklist
If you think you might have a gambling problem (or you think a family or friend is having problems with gambling) there are many ways to get help – and they are all free.
Below are 20 questions from Gamblers Anonymous. If you answer yes to five or more of the questions you should consider seeking help.
- Do you ever play until you run out of money?
- Do you ever play for longer than you had originally planned?
- Have you ever borrowed money to continue gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to get money to gamble?
- After losing, do you have an urge to play again to win back your losses?
- After winning at gambling do you have an urge to win more?
- Do you ever lose time from work or studying because of gambling?
- Does gambling reduce your ambitions for life?
- Do you ever feel remorse or regret after a gambling session?
- Has gambling ever made your life unhappy at home?
- Has gambling effected your reputation?
- Do you ever gamble to try and solve financial problems?
- Are you reluctant to use “gambling money” for other expenses?
- Has gambling ever made you careless of your welfare or your family’s well being?
- Do negative emotions (loneliness, anger, boredom) give you an urge to gamble?
- Does good fortune give you an urge to play the pokies?
- Have you ever considered harming yourself as a result of gambling?
- Have you ever committed an illegal act to finance gambling (stolen money or goods etc)
- Does worrying about gambling or gambling debts cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Do you ever gamble to escape thoughts of worry?
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