Online gambling is growing in popularity, with recent data showing that 19.2 per cent of Victorian adults who gamble do their betting online. This is likely to have increased significantly during the COVID-19 restrictions, which have temporarily closed venues.
If you find yourself spending more time and money betting online than you usually would, there is a range of options to help you manage your activities.
Contact your online betting provider to request that they:
- limit the amount of money you can have in your betting account
- deactivate your betting account at regular intervals to ensure you have short breaks and avoid losing track of time
- provide you with account statements and betting calculators to keep track of your total spend and make sure you don’t go over your limit
- set a maximum amount of money you can place on each bet
- close your account and/or take you off the mailing list
- activate the self-exclusion option (or do it yourself via your online betting account).
Opt-out of marketing messages, such as special offers and other inducements, by turning off phone notifications in the gambling apps/websites you use and in your phone and browser settings.
Block gambling transactions on your credit and/or debit cards. And seek assistance from your bank or financial institution if you experience hardship.
Do your homework before opening an online betting account. Block overseas websites and apps, which do not abide by the consumer protection regulations that apply in Australia. Or, if you’ve already opened an account, try to close it, block payments, and install ad blockers to stop ads and pop-ups, as well as geo-filters that block international gambling sites.
If you need assistance with any of these options or think you might benefit from talking to someone about your gambling, Gambler’s Help services are free and confidential and available 24/7, even during the COVID-19 restrictions. Call 1800 858 858.