JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Pokies players have trouble identifying addiction warning signs

The ANU study found people are reluctant to intervene when they suspect people have a gambling problem.

The ANU study found people are reluctant to intervene when they suspect people have a gambling problem.

Regular players of the pokies find it difficult to identify early warning signs that they are addicted, according to a study published on Monday.

The ANU study of regular gamblers in Canberra also finds they are very reluctant to intervene when they think someone might have a gambling problem.

The report is one of the first pieces of research undertaken that investigates people's knowledge and beliefs about gambling participation and problem gambling.

It was commissioned by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission and comes as the federal government is moving towards a trial in the territory of limits on poker machine gambling.

The ANU surveyed 25 adults who play electronic gambling machines at least once a week.

It found these regular players find it difficult to describe responsible gambling beyond "not spending more than you can afford" or to identify signs and symptoms of problem gambling outside of gaming venues.

The participants also had very little knowledge about services available for people with gambling problems beyond the telephone number advertised on playing machines.

Knowledge about problem gambling tended to increase among people who had experienced harm as a result of their gambling.

The report author, Dr Annie Carroll from the Centre for Gambling Research in the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences said the study pointed to the need for change.

"Given that people with gambling problems are unlikely to seek help, and family and friends find it so difficult to intervene, a better understanding is needed of how broader social institutions can support and encourage individuals, their families and friends to seek timely help for gambling problems," she said.

Chief executive officer of the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission Greg Jones said the study's findings would help the commission target its messages to people who may need some help or guidance in controlling their level of gambling expenditure.

"We understand from the study that people are reluctant to intervene when they think someone might have a problem with their gambling," he said.

"The commission urges anyone experiencing problems with their gambling, or their family and friends, to seek help.

"Free help is available and we want to foster open conversations on this difficult topic."

3 comments

  • Perhaps this reluctance to intervene despite an awareness of another's gambling problem would explain the difficulty that proponents of gambling reform have experienced in attempting to reform this insidious industry.

    Commenter
    jamall
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    November 20, 2012, 11:32AM
    • IMO going to the pokies once a week, is showing signs of addiction in itself.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Date and time
      November 20, 2012, 1:50PM
      • "The ANU surveyed 25 adults who play electronic gambling machines at least once a week"

        What a pointless survey and meaningless interpretation. FFS, a whole 25 people were sampled. Let us hope the Vic State Government doesn't get on to this....they do a yearly survey on local government involving over 80,000 people, who knew they could get meaningful results by going to the closest tram stop and surveying 25 people.
        Epic Fail ANU, and the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission is actually going to act on this....

        Commenter
        WTF
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        November 20, 2012, 1:51PM
        Comments are now closed
        Featured advertisers

        Special offers

        Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo