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Access can be used as a measure of how easy or difficult it is to participate in a particular type of gambling.

Levels and types of gambling access are considered when determining applications for gaming venue licenses or planning permits. For pokies, the social impact in a community is often measured by considering the number of machines per 1,000 people.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

An independent government authority whose primary responsibility is to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with Australian competition, fair trading, and consumer protection laws – in particular the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Australasian Gambling Council (AGC)

national industry body that aims to support a  sustainable gambling industry providing entertainment and economic benefits while promoting gambling education, responsible gambling awareness, quality gambling research and evidence-based policy.

Automated table games

These are casino table games where players place their bets on a terminal rather than at a table. Blackjack, roulette and baccarat are popular casino games offered as automated table games. There are two forms - a Semi Automated Table Game (SATG) which involves players betting on a terminal on a live outcome, and a Fully Automated Table Game (FATG) which involves players betting on a terminal on an automated or virtual outcome.



A physical computer terminal or device developed by Sportsbet which allows a user, by means of a touch screen, to place bets. The terminals communicate with Sportsbet's servers, which are strategically located at its licensed premises in Darwin.

Betting exchange

A betting facility which acts as a market place for punters to trade bets at different prices and quantities, similar to a bookmaker.


Bingo is a game of chance in which each player has a book(s) with a predetermined pattern of numbers, usually 15 numbers between 1-90. The numbers are called out randomly and players mark off the number if it appears on their book. The first player to cover the nominated pattern of numbers, or all numbers, calls out BINGO and wins the prize.


Casino table games

These are games generally involving cards or dice which are offered at casinos. Popular casino table games are Blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and poker.

Code of Conduct

By law in Victoria, gambling providers must have a Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. The code of conduct must meet a number of requirements and be accepted by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).

Community benefit statements (CBS)

This report verifies whether the community benefit provided by a club is equal to at least 8.33 per cent of its net gaming machine revenue, as required by law. Clubs must submit a community benefit statement to the VGCCC for each financial year.


A term that indicates a person has a number of problems that occur together, and may be related. For example, problem gamblers often experience other issues such as depression, anxiety, drug dependence or relationship problems.


Courtsiding is a practice of relaying information from a sporting events to bettors, or of placing bets directly from a sporting event such as tennis. In Victoria amendments to the Crimes Act in April 2013 made courtsiding illegal in this state.


Electronic gaming machines (EGMs, pokies, pokie machines)

An electronic gaming machine is a computerised gambling device that has a video screen displaying symbols on simulated reels. Cash is inserted into the machine and buttons are used to place bets. The machine randomly determines the position of symbols on the screen. Wins are returned as credits back into the machine.

eSports (electronic sports, esports, e-sports, competitive [video] gaming, professional [video] gaming, or pro gaming)

eSports are organised and competitive multi-player video games played online for an audience. Professional eSports involve payment or major prizes for players. Some games have players competing as individuals, others have competing teams. Multi-player Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games are currently the most popular genre. Global audiences are estimated in the hundreds of millions.


Fixed odds

The dividend (payout) price you receive for your bet at the time of placing the bet is fixed, so will not change throughout the event. The odds offered at the time of the particular bet are the odds paid regardless of how much extra money might go on later.

Fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT)

A type of electronic gaming machine (in the UK) that allows players to bet on the outcome of various simulated games and events. Players interact with the games via touch screen, and are able to gamble up to £2 every 20 seconds.


Gamblers' fallacy

The gambler's fallacy relates to thinking that there is a relationship between past random events that enables forecasting of a future event when in fact there is no such relationship.


Gambling/betting requires a player to risk losing something of value (usually money) for the chance of winning more. Gambling outcomes may depend on correctly predicting an uncertain outcome (such as a particular horse coming first in a race), or luck (such as a winning combination of symbols on a pokie machine).

Gambling disorder

Problem gambling, or compulsive gambling, is registered as an addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is used by psychiatrists, health professionals and within the Australian legal system. Previously named 'pathological gambling', and classified as an impulse control disorder, gambling disorder is now categorised in substance-related and addictive disorders.

Gambling Information Resource Office (GIRO)

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's Gambling Information Resource Office provides resources to community groups, local government and the public about gambling and its regulation in Victoria.

Gaming Technology Association (GTA)

The Gaming Technologies Association is the peak representative body for Australian gaming machine technology suppliers. It supports the national gaming industry through policy leadership and industry advocacy.



Gambling related harm can be divided into seven key areas: Financial harm, relationship disruption, emotional or psychological distress, decrements to health, cultural harm, reduced work or study performance and criminal activity. These harms can further be considered as general harms (which occur at any time), crisis harms, which are associated with attempts to seek help, and legacy harms, which occur long after gambling has ceased.


Incidence rate

In epidemiology, an incidence rate is the number of new cases in a defined population in a given time period. The incidence rate should not be confused with the prevalence rate, which is a measure of the total number of cases (for example, of problem gambling) in a given population at a designated time and includes new and existing cases.


Refers to any encouragement or persuasion to participate in a gambling activity. Examples of inducements may be an offer of free credit, a voucher for signing up to a betting account, a gift for referring a friend, or by the way of a reward for frequenting a particular venue. Victoria does not allow promotions for gambling in the form of inducements.

Interactive gambling

Refers to the range of activities that are offered through interactive media, including computers, mobile and smart phones, tablets, and digital television. The term interactive gambling is largely interchangeable with internet, remote and online gambling.

Intralot Gaming Services (IGS)

Provides the electronic monitoring system for all hotel and club gaming machines in Victoria. Under the EGM Monitoring Licence, IGS provides data and information on gaming machines for regulatory, taxation and research purposes.



Also known as 'progressive jackpot', this refers to an EGM on which the potential jackpot size increases with each credit that is played. When the progressive jackpot is finally hit, the jackpot amount resets to the starting number.



Keno is a game in which a player bets that their chosen numbers will match any of the 20 numbers randomly selected, via a computer system or a ball draw device, from a group of 80 numbers.



A lottery is procedure for distributing something (usually money or prizes) among a group of people by lot or by chance. The most common type of lottery involves many people purchasing lottery tickets to win a major prize. In some cases, the winning tickets are drawn from a barrel composed of all tickets sold (called sweepstakes). In other cases, a set of numbered balls are randomly drawn from a barrel and winning tickets must match the numbers drawn. Popular public lotteries in Australia are Powerball, Oz Lotto and Set for Life.

Low-risk gambling

Low-risk gambling is characterised by the experience of a low level of problems with few or no identified negative consequences.



Micro-betting refers to 'in-play' betting, meaning a bet made during a match or game. Other terms that refer to in-play micro betting include 'live betting' and 'in the run betting. In Australia, micro-betting cannot be legally offered online.

Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation (the Minister)

The current Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation is the Hon. Melissa Horne. She was appointed in June 2020.

Moderate-risk gambling

Moderate-risk gambling is characterised by the experience of a moderate level of problems from gambling, with some negative consequences, like spending more than you can afford, losing track of time or feeling guilty about your gambling.


Non-problem gambling

Non-problem gambling is characterised by the experience of no negative consequences from gambling.



Refers to your chance of winning; or the ratio of probabilities (either a percentage, or a figure that the betting agent offers to multiply, of the bettor's stake).


Personal electronic transmitters (PETs)

An electronic form of ticketing for playing bingo, or 'paperless bingo'. Games are purchased and loaded onto the PET prior to the session. Then, as numbers are called out, players push the same number on the panel for the PET to register and assess a match.


Electronic games played independently during live bingo games. They can be played during breaks, between sessions, or while engaging in a live bingo game. Similar in design and experience to pokies.


Pre-commitment is used to refer to mechanisms by which players of pokies can set limits on their spending or time spent gambling. One method involves a card that is inserted into a machine, which will stop the machine from continuing to play when the pre-set limit is reached.

Prevalence rate

In epidemiology, the prevalence rate is a measure of the total number of cases (for example, of problem gambling) in a given population at a designated time and includes new and existing cases. The prevalence rate should not be confused with the incidence rate, which refers to the number of new cases in a defined population in a given time period.

Prevalence study

Gambling prevalence studies take a cross-sectional snapshot of gambling behaviours in a given population. Data is collected through surveys, which include questions on attitudes to gambling, demographic characteristics of gamblers and gambling behaviour.

Problem gambling

Problem gambling is characterised by difficulties in limiting money and/or time on gambling, which leads to adverse consequences for the person gambling and often others in the community.

Problem gambling Severity Index (PGSI)

The PGSI is a Canadian screening tool for use in community settings. It has been adapted for use in Australia and is commonly used in Australian studies to assess problem gambling prevalence and also as a self assessment tool (take the quiz).

Productivity Commission (PC)

The Productivity Commission is the Australian Government's independent research and advisory body on a range of issues that affect the welfare of people nationwide.


Responsible gambling

The Foundation understands 'responsible gambling' for individuals to mean:

  • they may gamble for pleasure and entertainment but are aware of the likelihood of losing and understand the associated risks
  • they exercise control over their gambling activity
  • responsible gambling occurs in balance with other activities in their lives and is not causing problems or harm for themselves or others.

Responsible gambling for the broader community, including gambling providers, governments, and sporting associations, requires:

  • shared responsibility for generating awareness of the risks associated with gambling
  • creating and promoting environments that prevent or minimise problem gambling
  • being responsive to community concerns about gambling.

Responsible Gambling Advocacy Centre (RGAC)

The RGAC was an organisation set up and funded by the Victorian Government to assist people to make informed and sensible choices about gambling. RGAC ceased operation on 30 June 2012.

Responsible Service of Gaming course (RSG)

This certification is required by all gaming venue employees working in gaming machines areas while open to the public, within six months of commencing employment.

Return to player

The 'Return to player' (RTP) rate is the percentage of the money gambled in games of chance that is required by law to be paid back to gamblers as 'winnings', over time. In Victoria, return to player in pokies venues is set at a minimum of 85 per cent and is worked out on the basis of the total return across all the machines in a venue in a calendar year. As individuals, some may get almost nothing back and some may back get more than they bet.


Self exclusion

Self-exclusion is a program that enables a person to ban themselves from gaming venues and/or internet gambling. All Australian gambling providers are required to provide customers with the option to self-exclude from their venue or products.

Skill-based electronic gaming machine (EGM)

An electronic gaming machine that allows players to win, or increase their win, based on how they perform in a skill-based feature. Most are hybrid gaming machines with the machine randomly determining the position of symbols on the screen. When a feature is activated, the player is able to participate in a skill-based activity, such as shooting or driving. A skilled player may be able to win additional credits from the feature on the screen. Wins are returned as credits back into the machine.

Social casino games

These are games, commonly available as mobile phone or tablet apps or via Facebook, that simulate types of gambling. While players cannot win cash, they do pay real money to buy the imitation money to play the games. These games often do not fall under laws or regulations covering gambling.

Social Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA)

Developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this product looks at relative measures of socio-economic disadvantage and advantage by geographical location. The indexes are based on information from the national Census, which is conducted every five years.

Sports betting

Wagering on sporting activities other than the established forms of horse and greyhound racing. This can be in person at an event or venue, or online.


Ticket In Ticket Out (TITO)

A form of cashless gaming whereby a ticket storing cash value on a bar code can be inserted into EGMs instead of cash and can also have winnings paid on to it. A TITO system operates at Victorian clubs and hotels, as well as Crown casino. Tickets can only be used between machines in the same venue.

Totalisator Agency Board (TAB)

The TAB is the name given to monopoly totalisator organisations who provide opportunities to place bets on races. Odds and payoffs are displayed electronically on screens in authorised venues.

True odds

The real odds of something happening. The odds offered by the casino are designed to be less than the true odds and to provide a house edge to guarantee a constantly better return than that of players.


Turnover is the expression used to describe the amount wagered. It is all the money bet before any winnings are paid out or losses incurred. It does not include any additional charges that may also be paid at the point of purchase, such as the selling agents' commission in the case of lotteries.


Venue support worker (VSW)

This role supports venues in responsible gambling practices, in accordance with approved Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct. Trained through the Venue Support Program, the worker is required to identify and respond to signs of distress of patrons that may be related to high risk gambling.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Established under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, VCAT commenced operation in 1998, amalgamating 15 boards and tribunals to offer a 'one-stop-shop' to deal with a range of disputes.

Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC, the commission)

The commission is the independent statutory authority which regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries. The commission conducts hearings (both public and private) on matters such as approval for proposed gaming premises, or requests for increased gaming machines.

Video lottery terminal (VLT)

Similar in look to a pokie machine, this is a stand-alone device that allows the player to bet on the outcome of a video game. VLTs are considered to be uniquely addictive as they have unparalleled speed of play and speediness of returns.



The term wagering is used to refer officially to bets placed on racing and sporting events. It is used as a term for a distinct form of gambling, in contrast with betting on poker machines or buying lottery tickets.

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