What does gambling harm look like?

Understanding gambling harm. Pictured: A male excitedly reacting to a wager placed on a mobile sports betting app. The male is standing outside a sports stadium.

According to the Australasian Gaming Council’s 2014/15 gambling industries report, the average Australian adult spends $1,172.14 on gambling per year. This makes Australia the gambling capital of the world.

Of the $25+ billion Australians spend on gambling, more than half ($12+ billion) goes to poker machines. There are more poker machines in Australia than in any other country.

Sports betting is on the rise. Between 2018 and 2019, the amount of money spent on sports betting grew by 15.3%, making it the fastest growing gambling market in Australia.

Here in Tasmania, poker machines (also known as EGMs) are the biggest cause of gambling harm. Most machines are located in pubs and clubs in socially disadvantaged communities.

According to Tasmanians who use Anglicare’s  Gamblers Help service:

  • 76% reported experiencing harm from using poker machines located in pubs and clubs
  • 40%  reported experiencing harm from using poker machines at casinos
  • 16% specified betting on racing and other sports events
  • 8% experienced harm from playing keno.


Gambling affects people across all age groups, genders and social backgrounds. It is an addiction.

People are unable to afford to eat, or heat their homes. They lose their jobs, and their relationships with families and friends suffer. They may experience a decline in their mental health. There’s also a clear link between gambling, financial hardship and suicide.

Research shows that people will seek help for drug use before they will seek treatment for gambling-related harm.

That’s why it’s so important that we start conversations that will break down the stigma attached to reaching out for support.


Contact Gamblers Help

If your gambling has become a problem, you are not alone. Anglicare’s Gamblers Help service can support you.

Call Gamblers Help on 1800 243 232.

Email ConnectSupport@staging-anglicare.kingsdigital.dev

Check our website for more information: www.anglicare-tas.org.au/gambling-support/

The website lists the street addresses of our offices. You don’t need an appointment – simply drop in. Our service is FREE, confidential and without judgement.

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