Assessing gambling-related harm in Victoria: a public health perspective
Monday, 11 April 2016
The aim of this project was to systematically investigate gambling-related harm in Victoria and assess the aggregate 'burden of harm' with reference to different levels of problem gambling, and other comparable conditions.
About the study
M, Langham, E, Rawat, V, Greer, N, Li, E, Rose, J, Rockloff, M, Donaldson, P,
Thorne, H, Goodwin, B, Bryden, G & Best, T
gambling-related harm in Victoria: a public health perspective, Victorian Responsible
Gambling Foundation, Melbourne.
The aim of this project was to systematically investigate gambling-related
harm in Victoria and assess the aggregate 'burden of harm' with reference to
different levels of problem gambling, and other comparable conditions.
The project used a standard public
health methodology endorsed by the World Health Organisation to measure the
impact of gambling on quality of life.
Download Assessing gambling-related harm in Victoria: a public health
perspective (PDF - 3307.8 KB).
The study found that low and moderate-risk gamblers account
for a majority of the aggregate years of health life lost in Victoria. In
- 50.24 per cent of years lost
to disability were from low-risk gamblers
- 34.52 per cent of years
lost to disability were from moderate-risk gamblers
- 15.24 per cent of years
lost to disability were from problem gamblers.
Harm to self accounted for 86.2 per cent of harm, while 13.8
per cent was harm to others.
When all risk categories are combined, gambling accounts for
years lost to disability that equates to about two-thirds of the years lost to
disability for alcohol use and dependence and major depression, and much more
than many other conditions such as diabetes.
The qualitative data collection identified that harms could
be divided into seven dimensions:
- financial harm
- relationship disruption,
conflict or breakdown
- emotional or psychological
- decrements to health
- cultural harm
- reduced performance at
work or study
- criminal activity.
Harms were divided into:
- general harms, which
occurred at any time
- crisis harms, which were
associated with attempts to seek help
- legacy harms, which
occurred long after gambling ceased.
The researchers also identified that harms could occur much
later in life, or even be transferred between generations. For example,
parental poverty could impact on children throughout their lifespan.
For the foundation – the improved understanding of the
quality and quantity of harm will help to better target efforts to prevent or
reduce the potential negative consequences of gambling.
For policy makers and regulators – the study concluded there should be a broadening of focus from the prevention of 'problem gambling'
to the lessening of gambling harm which is distributed across a broader section of the Victorian community.
The following fact sheets summarise key information from the report:
Fact sheet 1: A conceptual framework of gambling harm (PDF - 265.8 KB)
Fact sheet 2: The seven dimensions of gambling harm (PDF - 233 KB)
Fact sheet 3: How gambling harm affects health and wellbeing (PDF - 286.3 KB)
Fact sheet 4: Distribution of harm (PDF - 369.9 KB)