Australia: Queensland to launch a new plan on gambling harm

The government wants to minimise gambling-related harms.
The government wants to minimise gambling-related harms.

The government of Queensland has announced a new four-year plan to minimise gambling-related harms as part of the Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) 2021.

Australia.- Shannon Fentiman, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, has revealed the government of Queensland will introduce a new plan to minimise gambling-related harms.

Announced as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) 2021, the four-year plan aims to reduce the negative consequences associated with gambling in the Australian state.

Fentiman said 70 per cent of local people gamble, according to a recent survey. Although only a small number of them have gambling problems, the Government wants to protect all gamblers from potential harms.

The plan contemplates more social responsibility from the gambling sector and casino operators. It will focus on the implementation of technological systems.

It also intends to monitor the gambling habits of young people as the government believes they are more susceptible to the negative consequences of gambling.

In March, Queensland MP Andrew Wallace said Australia’s four biggest banks backed plans to ban credit card spending on online gambling. Some banks have already introduced a ban.

However, the measure was criticised by the Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), an independent trade advocacy body for Australian‑licensed wagering providers.

The body argued that there was no evidence for a link between problem gambling and the use of credit cards for online gambling.

Australian gambling harm-reduction tools

A study by the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic (GTRC) reported that gambling harm minimisation tools implemented by the government have had little impact.

The research focused on self-exclusion and deposit limit tools. It found that the first tool affected online gambling behaviour but that players don’t use the tool if it’s voluntary.

As for deposit limits, 6,000 people who used the tool stuck to the limits for about a year, while one in four decided to change their betting limits to make them less restrictive. One in eight gamblers unsubscribed from the programme. 

Despite this, Sally Gainsbury, one of the study’s authors, said the self-exclusion and betting limit tools had proved to be successful.

She said the number of people who set a deposit limit for gambling increased after the introduction of the self-exclusion system. She added that the results could encourage authorities to take other measures to promote safer gambling behaviour.

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