New research shows that people with an intellectual disability who gamble on the pokies are unlikely to be aware of the potential for negative consequences, which is a clear risk factor for experiencing gambling-related harm.
The Deakin University research, which identified a need for a stronger focus on gambling harm prevention, was released today at Gambling harm is complicated: Understanding our diversity of experiences, an online Gambling Harm Awareness Week (18–24 October) event.
A La Trobe University-led study found that in Victoria’s LGBTQI+ communities, people who socialise in venues identified as such are less likely to gamble, while some of those who do gamble consider pokies venues “safe spaces”.
A third study, led by the Australian Catholic University, examined help seeking among people experiencing gambling-related harms in conjunction with a mental health condition, and reaffirmed that stigma is a consistent challenge for this group.
All the projects, which were funded by Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation early career researcher grants, involved first-hand accounts of gambling harm by people who identified as belonging to one of the three communities, to understand the unique nature of their experiences.
Foundation CEO Shane Lucas said that Gambling Harm Awareness Week provided an opportunity for individuals who had overcome a struggle with gambling to share their stories and offer hope, comfort, strength and encouragement to those still struggling.
‘No group is immune to gambling harm, but neither how harm is experienced nor the efficacy of various prevention, early intervention or treatment options is universal.
‘It is important, therefore, to understand gambling harm differences, as well as similarities, across a range of diverse communities to ensure that interventions are tailored, appropriate, and evidence-based,’ Mr Lucas said.
Anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s gambling is encouraged to call the 24/7 Gambler’s Help line on 1800 858 858 for free confidential advice, support and referral.
Read the three reports:
- People with intellectual disability and their lived experiences of gambling
- Examining risk and protective factors for the development of gambling-related harms and problems in Victorian LGBTIQ+ communities
- Lived experience of help-seeking in the presence of gambling related harms and coexisting mental health conditions