Sarah Hare –  Study of gambling and health in Victoria.

Sarah Hare – Study of gambling and health in Victoria.

The study itself is actually a study of problem
gambling prevalence in Victoria. That’s actually
a type of study that measures the extent there
is various degrees of problem gambling issues
in the community ranging from I guess non-problematic
gambling which is recreational gambling right
through to the other end of the continuum
which is problem gambling.
The major highlight of this study was there
was no change in the prevalence of problem
gambling or moderate-risk gambling in Victoria
from 2008 to 2014. However, we did see an
increase in the proportion of the community
who were low-risk gamblers. We generally saw
some interesting shifts in the type of gambling
activities that people participated in, in
the past 12 months. Particularly I guess it
was notable that gaming machine participation
had decreased to 15 per cent from about 21
per cent in 2008. There’s also been some increases
in sports and event betting which is about
roughly 3 to 4 per cent participation overall
within the community. In problem gamblers,
we saw I guess in spite of no change overall
in the number of problem gamblers in Victoria,
the people who were I guess problem gamblers
were gambling more frequently on pokies, casino
table games and also horse race betting. We
do find that problem gamblers have a high
proportion of people aged between 35 and 44
years. So that’s certainly reflecting in the
results that problem gambling is generally
a mid-life phenomenon. So it’s not something
that is generally affecting a high proportion
of your very young people. Another interesting
finding in this study was the prevalence of
problem gambling for indigenous peoples is
8.71 per cent, and this was significantly
higher than for the people of non-indigenous
background. So I think that really is saying
that we need to look at further policy programs
and strategy responses for indigenous people
and certainly other states have also found
that gambling is an issue for many indigenous
communities, so that’s something we continually
need to work on and look at.

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