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Introduction

Many Australians gamble as a form of entertainment.  This might include an occasional bet on the horse races, buying a lottery ticket, playing the poker machines or a night out at the casino.

However, sometimes gambling has a negative impact on people’s lives and this is commonly termed ‘problem gambling’.  Research also indicates that the actions of one problem gambler can negatively affect the lives of between five and 10 others.  This means there are up to five million Australians who could be affected by problem gambling each year, including friends, family and employers of people with a gambling problem.  Unfortunately only around 15 per cent of problem gamblers seek help.

The focus of Relationships Australia’s April online survey was to find out whether visitors to our website have been negatively affected by gambling.   The six questions chosen for April’s survey were sourced from the nine-question Canadian Problem Gambling Index (Ferris and Wynne, 2001) whereby each response is scored as:

Response

Score

never

0

sometimes

1

most of the time

2

almost always

3

 

The score for each question is totalled, and the higher your total score, the greater the risk that your gambling is a problem.  Scores of three or more on the full index of nine questions indicate moderate to high levels of problem gambling that may lead to negative consequences.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites