Stigma remains a significant issue for people experiencing gambling harm, with more than 50 per cent of adults who participated in the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s 2017 community attitudes survey declaring most people would think less of a person who struggles with their gambling.
Further, almost 60 per cent said most people would consider someone with a gambling problem to be unreliable and without self-control, and 45 per cent agreed many people would avoid a person in this situation.
The annual survey findings were published today on the Foundation’s revamped website, which features a new section – Gambling in Victoria (responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au/stats) – comprising the latest statistics, information and analysis about gambling, including gambling participation, community perceptions, harm and stigma.
Chief executive Louise Glanville said insights gained through the survey continued to inform the Foundation’s work to reduce and prevent gambling harm, overcome barriers to help seeking such as stigma, and provide effective support services.
‘Men are more likely than women – at 8.3 and 4.9 per cent respectively – to report harm from gambling, and to believe that most people would think less of a person having difficulty keeping their gambling under control,’ Ms Glanville said.
‘One in 10 people acknowledge having experienced harm in the previous year because of someone else’s gambling, which they say is most commonly felt as sadness, anxiety, stress or anger, relationship difficulties, a negative impact on their social life, financial hardship, and a reduced ability to work or study.
‘This compares with the most common types of harm identified by individuals who describe the negative effects of their gambling as reduced spending money, reduced savings, feelings of regret or shame, less money for recreational activities, and feeling like a failure.’
Ms Glanville said sports betting, the fastest growing form of gambling in the state, disturbed many people in the community. The survey found:
- 63 per cent of Victorians believe young people think betting on sport is
- 61.9 per cent think gambling should not be a part of experiencing sport
- 70.9 per cent think adolescents see and hear too much gambling
‘The potential impact on children of normalising sports betting is a particular concern, and is one of the reasons all 10 Victorian AFL teams are on board this year with the Foundation’s Love the Game initiative to reduce the exposure of fans to gambling advertising,’ she said.
In 2017, 1208 Victorians participated in the community attitudes survey, the results of which were weighted to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for age, gender and location to reflect the Victorian population.
The new, interactive Gambling in Victoria section of the Foundation’s website offers highly visual information about what Victorians think about gambling, who gambles and on what, what Victorians spend on gambling, pokies data by local government area, gambling advertising, and harm from gambling.