How does gambling affect a person's health?
The Victorian population gambling and health study 2018–2019 examined various health-related indicators to understand how gambling can affect a person’s health and wellbeing.
In Australia, we measure our overall wellbeing using the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, which tracks Australians’ satisfaction with their lives, and life in Australia. The average score for life as a whole is 8.09 out of 10. Moderate and problem gamblers were significantly less satisfied with their lives (6.75) and this was particularly marked for problem gamblers (5.32).
Other health and wellbeing findings included that:
- 39 per cent of people experiencing problem gambling are in a state of high distress compared to 5 per cent of Victoria’s general population (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale)
- almost a third of moderate-risk and problem gamblers drank alcohol often, or always while gambling (29.2 per cent and 31 per cent respectively, compared with 9.5 per cent of non-problem gamblers)
- moderate-risk and problem gamblers were far more likely than other Victorians to smoke daily (30.2 per cent and 39.4 per cent respectively, compared with 11.5 per cent overall)
- about 330,000 adults in Victoria who gamble (9.6 per cent) experience at least one form of gambling-related harm.
of people experiencing problem gambling are in a state of high distress.