Glossary

Welcome to the Gambling Information Resource Office's Glossary of terms used in relation to gambling.

A | B | C | E | F | G | I | J | K | M | O | P | R | S | T | V | W

A

Access

Access can be used as a measure of how easy or difficult it is to participate in a particular type of gambling.

Levels and types of gambling access are considered when determining applications for gaming venue licenses or planning permits. For pokies, the social impact in a community is often measured by considering the number of machines per 1,000 people.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

An independent government authority whose primary responsibility is to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with Australian competition, fair trading, and consumer protection laws - in particular the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Australian Gambling Council (AGC)

A national industry body that aims to support a  sustainable gambling industry providing entertainment and economic benefits while promoting gambling education, responsible gambling awareness, quality gambling research and evidence-based policy.

B

Betbox

A physical computer terminal or device developed by Sportsbet which allows a user, by means of a touch screen, to place bets. The terminals communicate with Sportsbet's servers which are strategically located at its licensed premises in Darwin.

Betting exchange

A betting facility which acts as a market place for punters to trade bets at different prices and quantities, similar to a bookmaker.

C

Code of Conduct

By law in Victoria, gambling providers must have a Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. The code of conduct must meet a number of requirements and be accepted by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).

Community benefit statements (CBS)

This report verifies whether the community benefit provided by a club is equal to at least 8.33 per cent of its net gaming machine revenue, as required by law. Clubs must submit a community benefit statement to the VCGLR per financial year.

Comorbidity

A term that indicates a person has a number of problems that occur together, and may be related. For example, problem gamblers often suffer from other issues such as depression, anxiety, smoking, drug dependence or relationship problems.

Courtsiding

Courtsiding is a practice of relaying information from a sporting events to bettors, or of placing bets directly from a sporting event such as tennis. In Victoria amendments to the Crimes Act in April 2013 made courtsiding illegal in this state.

E

Electronic gaming machines (EGMs, pokies, pokie machines)

Electronic gaming machines are a computerised gambling device that has a video screen displaying symbols on simulated reels. To operate cash is inserted into the machine and buttons are used to place bets. The machine randomly determines the position of symbols on the screen. Wins are returned as credits back into the machine.

eSports

eSports is the activity of gambling on the outcome of a computer game. Bets can be placed for people watching other people play video games. In 2015, 205 million people reportedly viewed e-sports games.

F

Fixed odds

The dividend (payout) price you receive for your bet at the time of placing the bet is fixed, so will not change throughout the event.  The odds offered at the time of the particular bet are the odds paid regardless of how much extra money might go on later.

Fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT)

A type of electronic gaming machine (in the UK) that allows players to bet on the outcome of various simulated games and events. Players interact with the games via touch screen, and are able to gamble up to £100 every 20 seconds, which is approximately AU$1,000 per minute.

G

Gamblers' fallacy

The gambler's fallacy relates to thinking that there is a relationship between past random events that enables forecasting of a future event when in fact there is no such relationship.

Gambling

Gambling/betting requires a player to risk losing something of value (usually money) for the chance of winning more. Gambling outcomes may depend on correctly predicting an uncertain outcome (such as a particular horse coming first in a race), or luck (such as a winning combination of symbols on a pokie machine).

Gambling disorder

Problem gambling, or compulsive gambling, is registered as an addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is used by psychiatrists, health professionals and within the Australian legal system. Previously named Pathological Gambling, and classified as an Impulse Control Disorder, Gambling disorder is now in the Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders category.

Gaming Technology Association (GTA)

The Gaming Technologies Association is the peak representative body for Australian gaming machine technology suppliers, and supports the national gaming industry through policy leadership and industry advocacy.

I

Incidence rate

In epidemiology, an incidence rate is the number of new cases in a defined population in a given time period. The incidence rate should not be confused with the prevalence rate, which is a measure of the total number of cases (for example, of problem gambling) in a given population at a designated time and includes new and existing cases.

Inducements

Refers to any encouragement or persuasion to participate in a gambling activity. Examples of inducements may be an offer of free credit, a voucher for signing up to a betting account, a gift for referring a friend, or by the way of a reward for frequenting a particular venue. Victoria does not allow promotions for gambling in the form of inducements.

Interactive gambling

Refers to the range of activities that are offered through interactive media, including computers, mobile and smart phones, tablets, and digital television. The term interactive gambling is largely interchangeable with Internet, remote and online gambling.

Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA)

It's illegal to provide some interactive gambling activities to someone in Australia. This Act targets the providers of interactive gambling to minimise the harmful effects of gambling on the Australian community.

Intralot Gaming Services (IGS)

Provides the electronic monitoring system for all hotel and club gaming machines in Victoria. Under the EGM Monitoring Licence, IGS also will provide data and information on gaming machines for regulatory, taxation and research purposes.

J

Jackpot

Also known as 'progressive jackpot, refers to an EGM on which the potential jackpot size increases with each credit that is played. When the progressive jackpot is finally hit, the jackpot amount resets to the starting number.

K

Keno

Keno is a game in which a player bets that their chosen numbers match any of the 20 numbers randomly selected, via a computer system or a ball draw device, from group of 80 numbers.

M

Micro-betting

Micro-betting refers to 'in-play' betting meaning a bet has been made during a match or game. Other terms that refer to in-play micro betting include "live betting" and "in the run" betting. In Australia, micro-betting can not be legally offered online.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation (the Minister)

The current Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation is the Hon. Ms Marlene Kairouz, appointed in June 2016.

O

Odds

Refers to your chance of winning; or the ratio of probabilities (either a percentage, or a figure that the betting agent offers to multiply of the bettor's stake).

P

Personal electronic transmitters (PETs)

An electronic form of ticketing for playing bingo, or 'paperless bingo'. Games are purchased and loaded onto the PET prior to the session. Then, as numbers are called out, players push the same number on the panel for the PET to register and assess a match.

Play-on-demand

Electronic games played independently during live bingo games. They can be played during breaks, between sessions, or whilst engaging in a live bingo game. Similar in design and experience to EGMs (pokies).

Pre-commitment

Pre-commitment is used to refer to mechanisms by which players of pokies can set limits on their spending or time spent gambling. One method involves a cards that is inserted into a machine, which will stop the machine from continuing to play when the pre-set limit is reached.

Prevalence rate

In epidemiology, the prevalence rate is a measure of the total number of cases (for example, of problem gambling) in a given population at a designated time and includes new and existing cases. The prevalence rate should not be confused with the incidence rate which refers to the number of new cases in a defined population in a given time period.

Prevalence study

Gambling prevalence studies take a cross-sectional snapshot of gambling behaviours in a given population. Data is collected through surveys which include questions on attitudes to gambling, demographic characteristics of gamblers and gambling behaviour.

Problem gambling

Problem gambling is characterised by difficulties in limiting money and/or time on gambling, which leads to adverse consequences for the gambler or others in the community.

Productivity Commission (PC)

The Productivity Commission is the Australian Government's independent research and advisory body on a range of issues which affect the welfare of people nationwide.

R

Responsible gambling

(The Foundation definition)

Responsible gambling for individuals means:

  • they may gamble for pleasure and entertainment but are aware of the likelihood of losing and understand the associated risks
  • they exercise control over their gambling activity
  • responsible gambling occurs in balance with other activities in their lives and is not causing problems or harm for themselves or others.

Responsible gambling for the broader community, including gambling providers, governments, and sporting associations, requires:

  • shared responsibility for generating awareness of the risks associated with gambling
  • creating and promoting environments that prevent or minise problem gambling
  • being responsive to community concerns around gambling.

Responsible Gambling Advocacy Centre (RGAC)

The RGAC was an organisation set up and funded by the Victorian government to assist people to make informed and sensible choices about gambling. It is no longer in operation.

Responsible Service of Gaming course (RSG)

This certification is required by all gaming venue employees working in gaming machines areas while open to the public, within 6 months of commencing employment.

Return to player

The 'Return to player' (RTP) rate is the percentage of the money gambled in games of chance that is required by law to be paid back to gamblers as 'winnings', over time. In Victoria return to player in pokies venues is set at a minimum of 85% and is worked out on the basis of the total return across all the machines in a venue in a calendar year. As individuals, some may get almost nothing back and some may back get more than they bet.

S

Self exclusion

Self-exclusion is a program that enables a person to ban themselves from gaming venues and/or internet gambling. All Australian gambling providers are required to provide customers with the option to self-exclude from their venue or products.

Social casino games

These are games, commonly available as mobile phone or tablet apps or via Facebook, that simulate types of gambling. While players cannot win cash they do pay real money to buy the imitation money to play the games. These games often do not fall under laws or regulations covering gambling.

Social Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA)

Developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this product looks at relative measures of socio-economic disadvantage and advantage by geographical location. The indexes are based on information from the five-yearly national Census.

Sports betting

Wagering on sporting activities other than the established forms of horse and greyhound racing. This can be in person at an event or venue, or online.

T

Totalisator Agency Board (TAB)

The TAB is the name given to monopoly totalisator organisations who provide opportunities to place bets on races. Odds and payoffs are displayed electronically on screens in authorised venues.

True odds

The real odds of something happening. The odds offered by the casino and are designed to be less than the true odds, which provide a "house edge" to guarantee a constantly better return than that of players.

Turnover

Turnover is the expression used to describe the amount wagered. It is all the money bet before any winnings are paid out or losses incurred. It does not include any additional charges that may also be paid at the point of purchase, such as the selling agents' commission in the case of lotteries.

V

Venue support worker (VSW)

This role supports venues in responsible gaming practices, in accordance to approved Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct. Trained through the Venue Support Program, the worker is required to identify and respond to signs of distress of patrons that may be related to problem gambling.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Established under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, VCAT commenced operation in 1998, amalgamating 15 boards and tribunals to offer a 'one-stop shop' dealing with a range of disputes.

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR, the commission)

The commission is the independent statutory authority which regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries. The commission conducts hearings (both public and private) on matters such as approval for proposed gaming premises, or requests for increased gaming machines.

Video lottery terminal (VLT)

Similar in look to a pokie machine, this is a stand-alone device that allows the player to bet on the outcome of a video game. VLTs are considered to be uniquely addictive as they have unparalleled speed of play and speediness of returns.

W

Wagering

The term wagering is used to refer officially to bets placed on racing and sporting events. It is used as a term for a distinct form of gambling, in contrast with betting on poker machines or buying lottery tickets.

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