Problem Gambling in Australia

For many Australians, gambling is a fun form of entertainment that they enjoy occasionally and responsibly. However, there is also another side of the coin that is prevalent among many and this has led to ruined lives and destruction of the family unit especially with the introduction of different types of gambling which include online gambling.

Pokies are quickly becoming a common form of gambling in Australia and more than $12 billion is spent annually on poker machines in the country.

According to statistics, more than 80% of Australian adults engage in one form of gambling or the other and this is considered to be the highest number of gamblers in the world.

However, while many have enjoyed the fortunes of gambling over the past few years, a big number of gamblers have had to bear with the effects of this kind of entertainment, which is considered to be a serious health issue and a social problem.

Legality and law

With the introduction of online gambling in the early 1990s, Australia had no laws that regulated the industry and therefore it was a “free for all” form of entertainment. In 2001, the Australian Commonwealth Parliament passed the Interactive Gambling Act which targeted online gambling providers and making it illegal for them to provide ‘real money’ interactive gambling online to Australia residents.

Online gambling operators are prohibited from promoting real money gambling such as casino and poker to the citizens of Australia. It is not an offence for one to access and use interactive gambling services in Australia and even service providers operating within the country are free to offer their services to those outside Australia unless they are residents of ‘designated countries’.

Those who win in gambling in Australia aren’t taxed but instead the government collects taxes from gambling operators.

Casinos in Australia

There are different well known casinos in Australia. These are located within different cities and in different states. Some of the well known casinos include: –

  • City Tattersalls Club Casino in Sydney

There are many other land-based casinos in Australia and these can be found in areas such as Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart among other places.

Seeking Gambling Help

As mentioned earlier on, gambling is a big problem in Australia with many engaging in this activity at least once per year. Whether one is buying a lottery ticket, races, playing in a casino or playing pokies, the greatest problem is that this game can be very addictive with billions of dollars being spent each year on gambling.

For example, statistics shows that approximately $12 billion was spent in 2008/09 on pokies while overall; more than $19 billion was spent on gambling the same year. More than half a million Australians are considered problem gamblers or are at risk of developing this problem.

Gambling in Australia has a big impact on the social aspect of the community with the related cost standing at $24.7 billion annually. The biggest problem with gambling is that it does not only affect the active gambler but also many other people related to him or her.

If you are into gambling and on the verge of being addicted, getting professional help is very important as it will help save not only your life but also many others around you. Unfortunately, the number of those who seek help for gambling related problem is negligible, with records showing that only 15 percent come forward in search of this kind of help.

It is good to understand that although gambling starts are an innocent pastime activity, it can easily get out of hand resulting in serious financial problems and distress. Many gamblers in Australia have ended up in destructive financial problems such as debts, problems at work or even lose of hobs due to lack of motivation and absenteeism, relationship problems including divorces and lose of friends as well as emotional and mental health concerns.

If you or someone you love is hooked into gambling or fear that you could be on the verge of losing control, getting some help will be the best thing to do. The best thing is to identify and admit that you have a problem or are at a risk of developing one.

You can however remedy the situation by getting in touch with or Gamblers anonymous at It is possible to break the bondage of gambling and live free of the destructive effects associated with this fun activity.