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Gambling in Victoria

Community attitudes survey 2019: 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 2019 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:

  • 61.3 per cent agreed most people think people with gambling problems are unreliable
  • 63.2 per cent agreed most people believe people with gambling problems have no self-control
  • 51 per cent agreed most people think less of a person who has problems with gambling
  • 48.1 per cent agreed many people would avoid a person who has problems with gambling.

Agreement with these statements was generally similar for both women and men.

People aged 35–54 were generally less likely to agree with the statements than those in other age groups.

Do you think it’s easy for someone to stop gambling?

Sixty-eight per cent of the community don’t think it’s easy for people experiencing gambling harm to stop gambling.

Almost three-quarters (74.5 per cent) of people aged 55+ disagree it would be easy for someone to stop, compared to 64.5 per cent of people aged 18–34 and 59.8 per cent those aged of 35–54.

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