200,000 Australian children exposed to parental gambling, study finds

Nearly 60,000 children face the highest levels of parental gambling problems.
Nearly 60,000 children face the highest levels of parental gambling problems.

The Australian National University study found that 13.6 per cent of Australian children were exposed to some level of at-risk parental gambling.

Australia.- Dr Aino Suomi, director of the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University has released a study about gambling behaviours that found almost 200,000 Australian children are exposed to moderate or serious levels of harmful gambling by a parent each year.

According to the study, 10 per cent of Australian parents had engaged in some level of risky gambling in the past year. Suomi said that despite acknowledging the negative effects of gambling on children, there has been little research to quantify the magnitude of the problem in Australia.

Nearly 60,000 children face the highest levels of parental gambling problems, which can lead to significant harm. At the other end of the scale, nearly half a million children were exposed to lower-risk parental gambling, the study found.

Suomi stated: “Problem gambling is a significant public health concern on its own, but the experience of gambling-related harm reaches much wider. Parental gambling is also associated with child welfare concerns – things like neglect, poor nutrition and family violence.” 

He added: “It’s clear we need to specifically consider and address child wellbeing in these families.” 

In February, new research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that more than one in 10 (11 per cent) Australians reported participating in online gambling at some stage in the previous six months. That’s an 8 per cent increase from 2020.

ACMA aimed to study the impact of Covid-19 on online gambling habits and found that 16 per cent of Australians who gamble online reported an increase in their gambling frequency compared to before the pandemic.

NSW launches multicultural gambling harms service

GambleAware and The Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) have launched a new gambling harm support programme to help people dealing with gambling addiction issues. The campaign, funded by the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling will focus on culturally diverse communities, which it said were more likely to be affected by gambling harm.

Graeme Loy, chief executive of WSLHD, told local media: “We’re looking forward to working with all GambleAware Providers across NSW to build capacity to support multicultural communities and deliver culturally appropriate services.”

He added: “Our goal is to ensure that anyone who needs help can speak to someone in the language they are most comfortable with, and who understands both their culture and community.” 

In this article: