Talking About Gambling

News of the outcome of the trial this week of three test cricketers charged with match-fixing has coincided with the publication of two reports about gambling in the ACT in Australia and the release of a Policy Discussion Paper by the Coalition.
The reports are from researchers at the Australian National University. The research was funded by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission. Their titles are:
Profiling Problem Gambling Symptoms in the Australian Capital Territory: Socioeconomic and Demographic Characteristics and Gambling Participation
Help-seeking and Uptake of Services Amongst People with Gambling Problems in the ACT
Dr Tanya Davidson, one of the researchers, noted that “we need to better understand the experiences and views of people developing gambling problems to ensure that early intervention strategies are attractive and appropriate.”
Problem gambling and the measures proposed to address it were the subject of a Coalition Policy Discussion Paper released 2 November. The Paper presents a number of options that include:

  • A national voluntary pre-commitment program
  • A new training requirement for persons working in the gambling industry based on the ‘Responsible Service of Alcohol’ model to educate a broad range of staff to identify problem gamblers, detect the warning signs of excessive gambling and provide ways to help address and prevent it
  • More and better targeted counselling and support services
  • A nationally consistent ‘self-exclusion’ programme, including consideration of extending self-exclusion programs to third parties, such as immediate family members
  • Prohibiting betting firms offering credit to gamblers
  • Prohibiting the promotion of live odds during the live broadcast of a sports event
  • Possible extensions to the protection regime regarding online gambling established by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Dr Davidson notes that “knowing which population subgroups are most at risk is immensely valuable for adapting gambling education, awareness and harm reduction strategies and targeting them appropriately”.
Events in London and Australia provide excellent opportunities to asses these risks and establish consensus about their management  … otherwise we do have a lottery!
My colleague James Neill has alerted me to this chapter on Gambling in a Wikiversity book on Motivation and Emotion. I include this reference here with my thanks to James and the student author.
A day after this post was written three players and a player agent received custodial sentences for their roles in match fixing.
Photo Credits
Cricket under dark skies
Gambling women, Trade Centre, Finland



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