Guest Article by Author, Emma Reynolds of News.com.au

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

“As we all know in the gambling recovery communities, the problems we face here in America with problem gambling also happens in many other countries like Ireland, The UK, and with our friends in Australia.”

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So when I can across this article from another website I was visiting, I had to go read and investigate. It is a great example of showing that “gambling addiction and expansion” of it is happening all over the world, not just here in the US. Now, you all know I have no ill will towards those who gamble for the true fun and entertainment, but the reason I advocate about this destructive addiction is that the public needs to be aware how many of us can not gamble normally. So the more expanding of casinos, state lotteries, and Internet gaming, and sports betting venues, the more problem and addicted gamblers there will be.

So let’s read how this crisis is affecting our friends in Australia.

Emma Reynoldsnews.com.au@emmareyn

“THEY occupy a privileged position in Australian life, but these sleek establishments play a major role in the nation’s biggest problem.”

Casino gamblers are three times more likely to have a problem than those who play at pubs or clubs, experts say, yet they are enticed into increasingly reckless behaviour with intoxicants, incentives and rewards.

While Australia’s 13 casinos all follow policies intended to encourage responsible gambling, no one is holding them to account, according to the University of Adelaide’s Michael O’Neil, lead author of an alarming report into the industry.

“There are some practices of casinos that some might say don’t fit with responsible gambling service,” Associate Professor O’Neil, executive director of the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, told news.com.au. “Their practices are not particularly failsafe.

“You can be gambling too much but get incentives like credit points. They’re cultivating people to come and spend money.

“Casinos are secretive, on the basis of protecting people’s privacy. They talk a lot about what they do in terms of responsible gambling, but they can’t speak for the effect or the outcomes.”

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Excessive gamblers are more likely to be offered rewards and incentives to enable their habit, experts say. Picture: Dylan Coker

(Excessive gamblers are more likely to be offered rewards and incentives to enable their habit, experts say. Picture: Dylan CokerSource:News Corp Australia)

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The report, the first detailed snapshot of Australian casino gambling, found that all venues had practices in place to prevent excessive gambling — including information and counselling services, betting limits, restricting access to credit, withdrawal limits at ATMs and staff training and intervention.

But Prof O’Neil said there was “little to no evidence available to indicate how effective these provisions are in casinos.”

He admitted that “casinos can only do so much”, but said excessive gamblers often found themselves rewarded with special privileges that enabled them to indulge their habit further.

These may include bonus credit or access to private rooms where they can smoke at the tables.
The staff at The Star in Sydney told the researchers they would only intervene with a suspected problem gambler after someone had played for 24 hours. “That’s just not consistent with responsible gambling practice,” said Prof O’Neil.

The popular casino recently faced controversy because of its exemption from the NSW lockout laws, and an increase in violence around the neighbourhood.

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Staff at The Star Casino in Sydney will not intervene over a possible problem gambler until they have been playing for 24 hours.
(Staff at The Star Casino in Sydney will not intervene over a possible problem gambler until they have been playing for 24 hours. Source:news.com.au)

“Casinos are big operations, open 24 hours with huge numbers of people going through every day,” said Prof O’Neil. “That’s why in a sense they became crime spots. People who want to rob people know they’ll have money on them.

“You get the lockout laws too, encouraging people to move from Adelaide’s Hindley Street or Sydney’s Kings Cross to the casinos. It’s attracting people who have already consumed a fair bit of alcohol.”

And it’s different to being at a hotel, he added. “You don’t find many young men sitting there for a long time playing electronic games in a pub.”

The report found that casino table gamblers are more likely to be male, under 35, more highly educated and with higher incomes. They are typically accustomed to betting on sports and horses and playing online games on their mobile phones — “what they think is skills-based gambling,” says Prof O’Neil.

They are also the demographic most likely to be at risk of problem gambling. The electronic gaming machines at casinos are more likely to be used by another problem demographic, older women aged 45-70.

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Punters at Crown Melbourne require a loyalty card to access “unrestricted” gambling for more money.
(Punters at Crown Melbourne require a loyalty card to get access to “unrestricted” gambling for more money.Source:Supplied)

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Adelaide Casino told the researchers they had recently had to remove a group of young men who were playing large amounts of money at the tables every night.

Casinos do have the ability to monitor how people are gambling using loyalty card data. At Crown Melbourne, you need a card to play “unrestricted” — i.e. for larger amounts of money — but the establishment is required by the state to look at the information for unusual patterns.

But other casinos don’t bother, according to Prof O’Neil. “They won’t do it by themselves,” he said.

The researchers emphasised that casinos are very different from state to state. The Star and Crown Casino are world-class venues that attract high-rollers from overseas, while casinos in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and in several Queensland locations have a mainly domestic clientele.

One thing they have in common is their money-making prowess, a lack of accountability and a strong influence on one of society’s big concerning issues. .  .  .

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“I feel the very last sentence of this article written by Emma Reynolds is very significant. “The Casinos money-making prowess, and a lack of accountability.” That statement is very true for all countries battling the gambling expansion epidemic that is happening today all over. It is no wonder 1% of our population are now problem gamblers. This crisis and this number will rise if something isn’t done. AND? Gambling Profits are NOT the way to go when our country is broke and now using gambling profits to fill budget short falls”  . . .


Want to know what is happening in your communities with gambling throughout the US? Go visit my friends at Stop Predatory Gambling The Movement and see how they are keeping States and the Government Honest . . . .

Check your State Here: http://stoppredatorygambling.org/in-your-state/

 

 

 

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