Gambling

Gambling in our community

Gambling in Victoria

View the gaming expenditure by venue at the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website.

Effects on young people:

  • An average of 374 gambling ads are broadcast on free-to-air TV daily, with children under 12 the most exposed.
  • One in five adults who experience serious harm from gambling began before they turned 18.
  • 73% of Victorian’s aged 12-17 reported seeing gambling ads on TV in the past 30 days.
  • People aged 18 to 24 are more likely to develop a gambling problem.

Effects on health and wellbeing:

  • 1 in 5 adults gamble online.
  • Self-reported satisfaction with life drops as high-risk gambling behaviour increases.
  • 39% of people who engage in high risk gambling are highly distressed, compared to 5% of Victoria’s general population.
  • High-risk gambling often occurs with excessive alcohol consumption and daily smoking.
  • While high-risk gambling can produce some of the most visible impacts in our community, over 85% of gambling related harm is experienced by low and moderate risk gamblers.

Effects on relationships:

  • 80% of people harmed by someone else’s gambling report feeling distressed about the other person’s gambling.
  • 64.3% of people say they experience increased tension in their relationship with the person who gambles.
  • 63.3% of people feel angry at the person for not controlling their gambling.

Average loss per Victorian Adult from 2017 to 2018:

  • $539 on Pokies
  • $74 on sports betting
  • $545 on all casino gambling
  • $99 on lotteries
  • $90 race betting

Study on Victorian Secondary school students and the prevalence of gambling found that:

  • 18% of students said someone in their household had gambled in the past
  • 35% of students knew someone who gambled
  • 35% of students had visited a gambling venue in the past month
  • 73% of students had seen gambling ads on TV in the last month.

Seeking Help

Resources for adults experiencing gambling related harm.

Gambling assistance

Gambler's Help

Phone Gambler's Help (Victorian Government Initiative) at 1800 858 858 for their 24-hour phone counselling service.

Gambling Help Online provides free online counselling services by trained staff, including live counselling and email support. Their website also has self-help tools and information on gambling.

Star Health

The Gambler’s Help Southern Program is now available at Star Health Sites in St Kilda, South Melbourne and Prahran. The program offers a range of confidential, free services aimed at preventing or reducing the negative impacts of gambling on individuals, families and the community. Free advice for family and friends is also available on the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website.

Phone 9575 5353 or email ghs.intake@connecthealth.org.au

Financial assistance

Financial Counselling Australia

Financial Counselling is a free, community-based counselling service in the Southern region of Victoria, and is sponsored by the Department of Justice.

Phone them at 0402 923 750 or visit the Financial Counselling Australia website.

National Debt Helpline

Phone their helpline at 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm) or visit the National Debt Helpline website.

Mental health assistance

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation that has information about gambling and depression.

Phone 1300 224 636 or visit the Beyond Blue website.

Life Line

Life Line offers 24/7 crisis support. Phone 13 11 14 for help and support or visit the Life Line website. You can also text them at 0477 131 114 from 12 pm to 2 am.

Young people

Kids Helpline

Kids Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Phone 1800 551 800 or email counsellor@kidshelpline.com.au anytime and for any reason.

Gaming and Gambling: information for parents and guardians

Games with gambling components are very common, however these components may not appear like gambling at first glance.

They can include:

  • social casino games
  • virtual goods like weapons or character cosmetic upgrades, sometimes called 'skins'
  • loot boxes.

These game purchases will generally fall under the main three types of in-app purchases:

  • subscriptions
  • non-consumable purchases
  • consumable purchases.

For more information on popular games, game genres and pricing structures, read these fact sheets from the Victorian Responsible Gaming Foundation:

If you're not sure if a game has simulated gambling, you can find all the latest classifications on the Australian Classification website.

Like anything, gaming can have both positive and negative outcomes for young people. An important part of looking after your family’s health and wellbeing is understanding the signs of how much is too much.

For helpful information on why young people game and how to set boundaries to develop a healthy online life, read these Victorian Responsible Gaming Foundation resources: