Small but hopeful decline in New South Wales problem gambling
The New South Wales government has announced that the number of problem gamblers in the state decreased modestly, which is a hopeful sign.
The gambling research was executed by telephone and then added to the NSW Population Health Survey, initiated by Kevin Greene, Gaming and Racing minister. The study proved that 0.4% of the New South Wales population are problem gamblers, in comparison to 0.8% in 2006. Australia’s most populous state has 2.5% low-risk gamblers and 1.2% moderate-risk gamblers.
Problem gambling results
The New South Wales problem gambling results are lower than those of the state of Victoria, and are at the same level as the Queensland and South Australia statistics.
New South Wales government
The Gaming and Racing minister said in the Sydney Morning Herald that the results reflect the measures initiated by the New South Wales government to provide problem gamblers support. Responsible Gambling Fund, which results from a tax on casino profits, has financially supported front-line and telephone counseling services.
Last year’s implemented measures featured prohibition of credit card cash withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATM) in casinos and additional capping machine numbers.
Green commented: “These results are extremely hopeful and we hope that they prove the effect of our first class counseling service and stringent harm minimization legislation.”
Selection preconceived opinion
Telephone researches tend to have a selection preconceived opinion, according to dr. Charles Livingstone, a board member of International Gambling Studies, and a senior professor in Health Social Sciences at the Monash University.
Problem gambling rate
Livingstone’s interpretation of the gambling figures collected in New South Wales in the last ten years demonstrated a problem gambling rate of approximately 2.5% in the adult population, which mainly had not changed. Livingstone commented: “Gambling remains a major problem in New South Wales.”
The Sydney Morning Herald also underlines that the study is in contrast to the results of a draft Productivity Commission survey conducted in October 2009, which demonstrated that the measures, initiated to reduce problem gambling, mainly lacked results in the last ten years.