Which is the Country with the worst Gambling problem?
Australia is by far the country with the worst gambling problem worldwide. On average, they lose more money per person gambling than any other country. Not only this but the problem is also getting worse with the average expenditure on gambling growing every year as 200,000 people struggle with problem gambling. So, how bad is it really?
Despite the technological advances of gambling and the shift to free slot games and online casinos, the most popular types of gambling take the form of ‘pokies’, a nickname for the common poker machines in Australia. Pokies are everywhere in Australia, and they are allowed in pubs and clubs nationwide. Therefore, they are typically blamed for Australia’s fascination with gambling. Some say that the problems start with the bright lights that draw you in and get you hooked, and then the ease of accessing the pokies are what allow the addiction to grow and develop. This is proven by the discovery that around one-third of people who play pokies develop a gambling problem. Therefore, it is a common occurrence where there are people playing pokies to see ambulances for people showing signs of psychiatric behaviour or even attempting suicide.
Despite the amount of problem gambling that occurs as a result of the pokies, they are only the third most common type of gambling in Australia, following lottery games and instant scratch tickets. However, in relation to the average amount of money that is spent on these gambling types, surprisingly poker is the one that people spent the most amount of money on. Therefore, one could argue that despite the number of people playing the pokies, it would be more efficient to tackle the number of people playing poker as they lose more money over time. Especially when you consider the fact that poker had the highest proportion of regular participants with gambling-related problems. Therefore, Australia must stop focusing on only banning one form of gambling in order to tackle problem gambling in the country. Especially, since the rise of technology has led to an increase in the popularity of online gambling.
Online sites have employed any possible theme to make the gaming experience of players as interesting as possible, for instance check out these viking slots, which doesn't actually help the situation. Also, with so many online bonus offers available on casinos, gamblers have more than one reason to sign up and play.
Factors that resulted in this country's Gambling Problem
In order for the situation to improve, Australia’s government must pair up with the Gambling Commission to identify what the cause of the problem is. However, one of the main reasons that the situation has gotten so bad is a result of the close relationship that the government has with the Gambling Commission. It is essentially part of the government, and therefore it is harder to pass any form of legislation that would reduce the problem but damage the companies. In addition to this, the Australian government makes about AUS $2 billion a year in taxes from gambling. However, some may argue that the social cost of gambling, specifically supporting problem gamblers, outweighs the income for the economy. Thus, supporting the use of irresponsible gambling is costing the government as well as the livelihood of its citizens, making it a false economy.
Tackling Gambling Addiction
In order to tackle the problem gambling in Australia, many are proposing that there is increased intervention from staff who work in the pubs and clubs where people can gamble. They can then identify problem gamblers and intervene in order to help them. There are also calls to reform the machines that people gamble on in order to make them less addictive as well as reducing the maximum amount that can be bet on pokies in Australia. As a result of this, people would lose less money whilst gambling, thus resulting in a reduction of problem gambling. Despite the Australian government having a close relationship with the gambling industry, they are implementing a freeze on the number of poker machines until 2042. This would mean that there are no extra poker machines being produced and licensed.
A policy has also been implemented recently that gambling advertisements cannot be shown during live sports broadcasts in Australia. This comes as a way of attempting to tackle the exposure of gambling to children. The aim is to reduce the amount of problem gambling in the long term as many believe that the previews of gambling advertisements in sport tend to ‘normalise’ the idea of gambling for children. This means that many look at it from a different perspective as if it is a part of a daily routine instead of being an activity that should be enjoyed responsibly. As of yet, the ban does not apply to online advertising. Therefore, many believe that it won’t be very effective since studies show that children are watching less television and are instead ingesting media from their phones or online media.
Our Last Thoughts on Gambling Problems
Australia’s government is clearly trying to make changes to tackle the country’s gambling problem. However, in our opinion here at Thor Slots, it is not efficiently tackling it. Gambling is meant to be an enjoyable activity that you can do safely, especially on our site. If the use of gambling advertisements in sport is banned then, in a way, Australia is completely demonising gambling. Therefore, in the long term, more people will end up playing it irresponsibly without being able to learn about the risks and how to keep themselves safe. To conclude, Australia is going to continue to be the country with the biggest gambling problem worldwide unless they implement more ways to teach people about responsible gambling instead of ‘covering up’ the industry.