Awareness and prevention
Information and resources
Below you will find information on what research tells us about gambling. In particular statistics on problem gambling in Victoria are provided.
People playing electronic gaming machines (EGMs) or pokies can face greater risks than people who engage in other forms of gambling including lotteries, scratchies, and bingo. This is because pokies have the potential for high intensity play, at a high cost per hour. EGMs are designed to encourage people to keep playing them. Some advertising by EGM manufacturers make claims about the ability of their machines to increase player 'immersion" in the game.
The most common gambling activity for people with gambling problems in Victoria is pokie machines, as approximately 67% of people with gambling problems used them in 2014. People with gambling problems also describe pokies as the gambling activity where they spent the most money (51%) and played more intensively and for longer periods.
Problem gambling is characterised by difficulties in limiting time and, or money, spent on gambling which leads to adverse consequences for the gambler, others or for the community.
Gambling becomes a problem when it causes harm to the gambler and those close to them. Usually this means the gambler is spending more money or time on gambling than they can afford.
The 2014 Study of gambling and health in Victoria estimated that 0.81% of the adult Victorian population are problem gamblers; 2.79% are moderate-risk gamblers; 8.91 % are low-risk gamblers; and the remainder are either non-problem gamblers (57.59%) or non-gamblers (29.9%).
Based on population figures at the time, around 122,500 Victorian adults reported experiencing problems from someone else's gambling, in the 12 months prior to the study.