Problem Gambling in Australia

AutoArenda is passionate about initiatives that promote responsible gambling. We consider problem gambling to become a genuine scourge on an otherwise fun-filled industry – and we’re focused on disseminating factual, educational and up-to-date information to simply help spread knowing of the matter. In the event that you, or some body you understand, could be struggling with a compulsive gambling habit, we go over everything you need to understand the following on this page.

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What is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling is a phrase used to denote any type of gambling habit which has negative consequences on a subject’s life. It really is regarded as being a less severe type of ‘pathological gambling’ – though oftentimes it’s known as subclinical or intermediate in terms of its more severe variant. The differences between problem gambling and pathological gambling are nuanced, requiring a diagnosis from a professional clinical, yet the two phrases are often used interchangeably.

Problem Gambling in Australia: Did You Know?

csl australian facts
  • Over 80% of Australians partake in gambling every year.
  • Australia has the highest gambling rate in the world.
  • On average, each adult in Australia gambles $1276 a year.
  • Australian gamblers lost a total of $19.56 billion in 2017.
  • Pokies and other electronic gambling machines accounted for 62% of total gambling expenditure.
  • In 2012, there have been over 200, 000 physical pokies open to play in Australia.
  • Players in certain Australian states lose more each year than in other states: New South Wales ($3, 700), Victoria ($3, 100), Queensland ($1, 800)

How to Determine if You Have a Gambling Problem

There are numerous of questionnaires and checklists on the web that help those putting up with determine the extent of their problem.

The following questionnaire, promoted by Gamblers Anonymous, consists of 20 questions to that you are expected to answer with a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

  1. Do you miss time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Is gambling making your home life unhappy?
  3. Is gambling affecting your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or elsewhere solve financial difficulties?
  6. Does gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing, do you feel you must reunite as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  8. After a win, do you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Do you often gamble until your last pound is gone?
  10. Do you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Are you reluctant to use gambling money for normal expenditures?
  13. Does gambling make you careless of the welfare of your family?
  14. Do you gamble longer than you planned?
  15. Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?
  16. Perhaps you have ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Does gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  18. Do arguments, disappointments, or frustrations create an urge within you to gamble?
  19. Have you got an urge to celebrate worthwhile fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of your gambling?

Upon completing the questionnaire, Gamblers Anonymous provides you with results and any necessary advice or information. Typically, most problem gamblers will answer Yes to at least 7 of the questions provided.

How Problem Gambling Develops

Problem gambling is a condition that qualifies as systematic, meaning its causes and effects follow a ‘typical’ development. The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery has divided the development in to four phases, which traces the start of problem gambling to its potential apex.

These four phases can be summarised as followed:


Winning Phase

Problem gambling often begins with an amazing win. Winning on a pokie or a table game tends to lead the topic to a positive view of gambling generally. Either the niche believes that they’re ‘lucky’ or they have a unique talent for gambling. This phase culminates in the topic deceiving themselves in to the false belief that winning is inevitable. Subsequently, the subject begins to spend more time gambling and spending more in each session.



Losing Phase

The next phase does occur once the subject becomes more preoccupied with gambling, and further indulges in habits that are categorically unhealthy. Such habits include gambling alone, borrowing money to gamble, making gambling their ultimate priority (i. e. neglecting their career), lying about gambling with their close acquaintances and family, along with showing contempt due to their financial commitments. The niche will an average of start to chase their losses.



Desperation Phase

After the subject enters the ‘desperation phase’ their gambling habit begins to reveal it self as compulsive. Anyone in the desperation phase will exhibit an nearly inexorable impulse to gamble and are likely to feel guilt, shame and remorse after gambling. Their addiction may end up in financial problems, which they may try to resolve by stealing or cheating. In this stage the subject’s addiction is revealed to others, either through the increasing loss of their job, by splitting up using their long-term partner, or through legal punishments resulting from their try to fund their gambling problem.



Hopeless Phase

The subject becomes painfully aware of their addiction they become dejected. It’s likely that they don’t believe there is any a cure for overcoming their situation. This phase is if the severity of the subject’s state of mind is most acute: the subject might experience suicidal ideation, or worse, become suicidal. At this stage the topic is most probably to build up a drug or alcohol dependency.


Treatments Available to Problem Gamblers

Clinicians tend to recommend 1 of 2 treatments for those suffering with a gambling problem.

The available treatments are as follows:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that works to change the subject’s negative, spontaneous thought-patterns. Ultimately, these negative thought-patterns are identified, challenged, and then replaced (over time) with thought-patterns which can be more objective and positive.
  • Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) – REBT is philosophically dissimilar to CBT but follows the same fundamental premise. REBT targets unconditional self-acceptance, rather than the reinforcing of positive qualities, and it encourages embracing negative emotions – providing that they contribute positively to the subject’s life. As an example, sorrow and concern are negative emotions but healthier and appropriate with regards to the context.
csl cognitivebehavioraltherapy


Did you know: Disorders that can Reap the benefits of CBT and REBT include: Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks, Addictions, Eating Disorders, Anger and Phobias.

Steps to Overcoming Gambling Addiction

Additionally , there is a psychotherapeutic method promoted by Doctor Jefferey Schwartz in his book, Brain Lock, which illustrates what sort of problem gambler begins to over come their gambling addiction.

csl schwartz foursteps

Schwarz breaks down his recommended treatment into 4 simple steps:

Step 1:

In this stage, the niche is led to the awareness that their urge to gamble is just an indication of their addiction. The clinician’s job is to convince the niche that is a condition like any other, and it is treatable with the best approach. The topic becomes aware that the impression (or ‘urge’) isn’t rational and deserves to be dismissed.

Step 2:

The following stage centres about them dissociates themselves with the urge to gamble and, rather, attributes it to a chemical reaction inside their brain. For the niche to successfully go through this stage, they need to start to exhibit signs of self-control, even if these signs are merely transient.

Step 3:

The ‘refocus’ stage in the path to recovery is fairly self-explanatory: when the subject feels the urge to gamble, they are able to sublimate their urge by directing their focus on more productive tasks. This change illustrates that the subject’s value structures are starting to be modified.

Step 4:

Finally – by the fourth stage of Schwartz’ treatment method – the subject’s value structures are nearly completely modified. The niche has the capacity to completely dissociate themselves from their previous uncontrollable urges and any considered gambling is overridden by their new capability to dissociate.

10 Self-Help Tips for Potential Problem Gamblers

May very well not qualify as a problem gambler, however, you may possibly feel like your gambling is getting slightly uncontrollable. In line with the Australian company, Gambler’s Help, there are 10 actions you can take in reducing your gambling.

Here’s what they advise:

problem gambling tips


Set a budget and time limit

Setting a budget and allocating some time reserved for gambling means that that you don’t spend significantly more than you can afford and that you have time to reflect on your gambling session along with doing other, more vital tasks and activities.


Take regular breaks

If you gamble for a lengthy stretch of time you are able to lose perspective. It is vital that you regularly think about whether continuing is an excellent or bad idea.


Engage in other activities

Try to ensure that gambling isn’t your main hobby. Gambling is a kind of entertainment, nonetheless it shouldn’t be your only form of entertainment. It will certainly turn into a problem if you spend your entire free time gambling.


Do not chase your losses

Problem gamblers are suffering from irrational thinking. Generally, the longer you play for, the more you lose. You ought to reduce your gambling to short intervals and leave whether you’ve won or you’ve lost.


Do not think of gambling as a source of income

Gambling is a kind of entertainment. You should treat it similarly as a vacation to the films. Keep in mind that the odds are stacked heavily in the favour of the casino, and to contemplate it in an effort to make money is irrational.


Do not gamble as a form of escapism

Problem gambling is usually combined with other, frequently serious, problems, such as for instance depression or alcoholism. If you should be feeling lonely, or anxious, or bored, it may warp your capacity to produce rational decisions.


Only gamble with dispensable money

Gambling is for disposable income, not income that would be more

appropriately spent on necessities, such as your rent, mortgage, phone bills or groceries.


Do not take your credit or debit cards

If you leave your credit or debit cards at home, you’ll not be tempted to withdraw more money and continue gambling once you have spent your pre-set plan for the evening.


Do not drink excessively while gambling

Both alcohol and drugs are proven to lower your inhibitions. You are far more likely, therefore , to create poor decisions intoxicated by alcohol. Keep drinking to a minimum or don’t partake in both activities at exactly the same time.


Learn from your gambling mistakes

Should you feel remorse after gambling, you’re gambling irresponsibly. Don’t carry on gambling and seek support if necessary. Recognising your bad habit early is likely to make it better to overcome.

What to do if you Know a Problem Gambler

Problem gambling will not only affect the subject whose gambling has become a problem, but also the family and friends members of the niche. If you know some one close that has succumbed to problem gambling, there are a few steps you can take to help.

The American Psychiatric Association provides the following advice:



Contact anyone you understand that has managed similar dilemmas, or, if it’s your spouse, attend a nearby self-help group for families.


Attempting to preach, lecture or display aggression towards your lover won’t help. Keep your composure.


Be sure you remember and consistently reassure yourself of your partner’s positive characteristics.


Do not exclude your partner or friend from family life or every day activities. These activities will provide a helpful distraction and support network.


Try to keep your cool. This really is especially necessary when conversing with your friend about their habits and the potential or real consequences of their actions.


Think that the topic will recover in the short-term. Recovery from problem gambling, just like any type of addiction, is a long-term process with highs and lows.


Reassure your friend that you are ing organizations or clinicians for your sake as much as their own.


Provide finances to fund the non-public debt accrued by the problem gambler.


If the niche is your better half and also you have kids, make sure to show your children what problem gambling is.


Make an effort to hide the situation from family, friends, or anyone who can absolutely assist the problem gambler.


Recognise that overcoming a gambling addiction can be quite a slow process. It will take time and patience. Professional assistance is always encouraged.


if required, simply take charge of your family’s finances to ensure your cash is being spent accordingly and also to relieve your spouse of temptation.

Where to Find Help

There are numerous methods for you to access helpful information and assistance with problem gambling on the web in Australia.

At AutoArenda we always advise that a person with a gambling problem seeks professional help from one of the next institutions:

  • – Gambling Help Online can be an Australian institution which offers advice, information and help with problem gambling dilemmas. You get the opportunity to talk with an advisor, access self help manuals, join a discussion with people in a similar situation, assess your gambling by filling out a questionnaire, and receive SMS support.
  • – For anyone positioned in Victoria, you are able to access Gambler’s Help at no cost, confidential advice via the telephone or on line. Their helpline may be accessed 24/7 and you will certainly be put into experience of a professional counsellor.
  • – If you are positioned in South Australia, you are able to access a whole lot of helpful information on the government’s official problem gambling page. You can seek help and support, have a gambling assessment, access a listing of ‘signs’ of problem gambling and read stories about the others which have suffered.
  • – Queenslanders can access problem gambling support via the Gambling Help QLD internet site. The service is free and confidential, and comprises a gambling helpline (available 24/7 via phone or live chat) and face to face counselling (available at numerous locations).