Community attitudes survey 2018: Stigma from gambling harm
The 2015 Foundation-funded study The stigma of problem gambling: causes, characteristics and consequences found that while around 96 per cent of Victorians think problem gambling is an addiction, many also see it as a matter of personal responsibility.
Although more than half of Victorians believe it is diagnosable, and a third consider it a mental health condition, problem gambling is often attributed to individual characteristics, such as being impulsive, foolish or greedy.
Stigma can deter people experiencing gambling harm from talking to someone or seeking support. Breaking down stigma is one of the Foundation’s highest priorities.
In our 2018 community attitudes survey, we asked participants about the issue of stigma.
How do you think most Victorians feel about people experiencing gambling problems?
Around half of those surveyed agreed most people would treat a person with gambling problems differently:
- 62.4 per cent agreed most people think people with gambling problems are unreliable
- 64.6 per cent agreed most people believe people with gambling problems have no self-control
- 55.1 per cent agreed most people think less of a person who has problems with gambling
- 47.6 per cent agreed many people would avoid a person who has problems with gambling.
Agreement with these statements was generally similar for both males and females.
Agreement with the last two statements declined with age.
People experiencing problem gambling were generally more likely to agree with all four statements when compared to non-gamblers and non-problem gamblers.
Do you think it’s easy for someone to stop gambling?
Seventy-one per cent of the community don’t think it’s easy for people with gambling problems to stop gambling.
Almost three-quarters of non-gamblers disagreed it would be easy for someone with gambling problems to stop, while less than half of those experiencing problem gambling disagreed with this statement.
For more on addressing stigma, see the 2016 Foundation-funded study Lessons for the development of initiatives to tackle the stigma associated with problem gambling.
Read more about how the community attitudes survey was conducted.