Consumer perspectives on gambling harm minimisation measures in an Australian jurisdiction

Alun Jackson, Nicki Dowling, Darren Christensen


A mixed method study was undertaken in Tasmania, Australia, to determine awareness of harm minimisation measures; support or opposition to the measures; and assessments of the measures? Effectiveness if already implemented, the anticipated impact of measures yet to be introduced in new legislation and code of Practice. These measures were also evaluated through measurement of their impacts on gambling spend and enjoyment. Data were analysed form two sources: a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) of over 4,000 Tasmanian adults, and 13 group interviews with 126 participants ranging in age from 18 to 70.  Problem gambling severity of participants, as measured by the Problem Gambling Severity Index of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index, was: Non-problem gambler? 86; Low risk gambler? 24;Moderate risk gambler? 12; Problem gambler ?4. Measures assessed included changes to electronic gaming machine note acceptors. The majority of survey respondents indicated that there was no change to their spend or enjoyment as a result of the reduction in lines played, maximum bet per spin and amount that can be inserted into note acceptors in new EGMs. In addition, the majority of respondents considered that measures proposed in a draft Mandatory Code of Practice would result in either no change to their spend, or a decrease in spend. Moderate risk and problem gamblers, however, believed their spend would be impacted by: reducing the amount they could withdraw from an EFTPOS machine for gambling or from an ATM at the casino; restricting the payment of cash for EGM payouts; locating highly visible clocks on gaming room walls; and allowing only socially responsible advertising of gambling. Moderate risk and problem gamblers perceived that all proposed measures would impact more on their enjoyment than on the enjoyment of non-problem gamblers.

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