The number of Australians seeking help online for gambling has surged by 24% in the last year, according to Gambling Help Online data obtained by TDA.
This service has a 24/7 chat feature that connects gamblers to professional counsellors. The Federal, state and territory governments fund the service.
Australians are the world’s biggest gamblers, losing $25 billion a year.
Online gambling (e.g. sports betting) accounts for a growing share of these losses.
Three times as many Australians gamble online today as did a decade ago.
Online gambling help:
According to government data from Gambling Help Online, every state and territory recorded a rise in gambling help requests in the last year.
NSW, Victoria, WA, Tasmania, and the NT all saw increases of over 30%.
Australia’s most populous states made the most requests: NSW (2,877) and Victoria (2,034).
This was followed by Queensland and South Australia. Tasmania (151) and NT (60) had the least counselling requests.
NSW had the most requests for gambling help. It has the most pokies in Australia, turning over almost $100 billion per year, according to the NSW Crime Commission. The state’s gambling support service told TDA almost two-thirds of gamblers seeking help primarily used pokies in 2021/22.
Pokies reform was one of the biggest issues at the state election in March. NSW Premier Chris Minns committed to a trial (instead of a full implementation) of cashless gaming, which is currently underway.
What’s being done?
After a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling last year, governments around the country introduced several gambling reforms.
This includes a recent Federal Government announcement that Australians will have the option to indefinitely ban themselves from online betting from next month.
Victoria has also recently announced a crackdown on gambling, including limiting gamblers to putting $100 into a machine at a time. It’s not yet known when this will come into effect.