Australians are a strong-minded, tenacious nation, but unfortunately, it seems not when it comes to walking away from unhealthy gambling behaviours. Our nation ranks among the top gambling nations in the world, and this is not a list that countries aspire to be at the top of.
Let’s look at the challenge facing our country and the impact of RCG training.
Does Australia Have A Gambling Challenge?
It is estimated that Aussies lose over A$25 billion a year on gambling endeavours, with an estimated social cost of up to A$5 billion annually.
The general definition of problem gambling is having difficulty limiting the time and money spent on gambling, leading to adverse consequences for the gambler and the community at large. The government adds harm to this definition as problematic gamblers destroy their social relationships, suffer deteriorating mental health and lose their capacity to contribute to society.
What Causes A Gambling Challenge?
Susceptible gamblers have difficulty tracking their losses. They easily remember the large wins, elaborate details of the small wins and don’t recall the regular losses. This gives them their desired result of perceiving fewer losses and a better winning profile.
Gambling feeds the powerful dopamine neurotransmitters in our nervous system, which makes it addictive. Lottery products are far less addictive, and over 40% of Australian adults play the lottery once per year.
Why Is Lottery A Better Option?
Lottery tickets have a low cost and the payout is not immediate, which stops an addictive behaviour from developing and hinders a compulsive need to try and recoup losses (loss chasing). Breaking the interaction with gambling is the key, and that is why long bouts are discouraged.
Approximately $6 billion was spent in Queensland in the financial year of 2019, but it doesn’t come with the harmful societal effects of other forms of gambling.
How Does The RCG Help?
Australian venues are required to set up a minimum amount of best practices to assist with the responsible conduct of gambling (RCG). The managers, employees and directors of venues that house any amount of gaming machines must complete an accredited RCG training course. This helps with the identification of problem gambling habits. The RCG is undergoing revisions, and refresher courses are necessary.
Together the government and industry will assist in the reduction of gambling harm.