Edition #2: Gambling today

Prominent sign in foregound saying 'Bet now' and blurry sports field in background
Prominent sign in foregound saying 'Bet now' and blurry sports field in background
Photo: iStock

New evidence

From electronic bingo to how age and culture may affect risk of gambling harm: get up to date with the research

While the field of gambling research is relatively new, it is strengthening and expanding rapidly. Here, Inside gambling summarises some recent key studies.

Does advertising affect gambling?

Does sports betting advertising have an impact on people's gambling behaviour? If so, how does it affect vulnerable groups who may be at risk of gambling? This study examined the likelihood of sports-related marketing encouraging people to place bets. Twenty-four percent of adolescents interviewed admitted they were keen to make a bet after being exposed to advertisements. This study supports the view that gambling advertising needs to be addressed through policy to reduce harm from gambling.

Marketing of sports betting and racing
Sproston, K, Hanley, C, Brook, K, Hing, N & Gainsbury, S
This research was undertaken by ORC International and funded by Gambling Research Australia.

Has gambling and problem gambling changed in Victoria?

This article looks at the outcomes of two studies exploring the gambling behaviour of adult Victorians. For example, between 2003 and 2008, weekly participation in gambling decreased, while problem gambling among young people increased. As they predate recent upsurges in sports betting advertising and internet gambling, as well as increased use of mobile devices, the studies do not feature online wagering. The article endorses targeted interventions for individuals at risk of problem gambling, as well as the need to address the wider environmental factors contributing to vulnerability and harm.

Gambling and problem gambling in Victoria, Australia: changes over five years
Abbott, M, Stone, C, Billi, R & Yeung, K
Both studies were funded by the Victorian Government – one through the Community Support Fund and the other by Department of Justice.

Ethnicity and age: predictors of gambling as an escape?

Can someone's culture and birthdate put them at a higher risk of experiencing harm from gambling? This study investigated connections between ethnicity and age in relation to problem gambling, and ethnicity and age as predictors of gambling as an escape.

The findings varied from other studies in that being younger was not associated with problems with gambling. Ethnicity was a factor for people aged between 36 and 55, and people who nominated gambling as a form of escape were more likely to also have gambling problems. While participants were from the United States, with some environmental and cultural factors differing from Australia, the findings may be useful for prevention programs and public health campaigns targeted to ethic groups.

Investigating possible effects of ethnicity and age on gambling as an escape
Cookman, ML, Weatherly, JN
This study was conducted by a team from the University of North Dakota, United States.

Electronic bingo games or new-age pokies?

What's the harm of gambling while you're gambling? This article compares the features of new bingo gaming machines introduced into Ontario Charitable Gaming Centres, or bingo halls, with those of slot electronic gaming machines, known as pokies in Australia. Until now, bingo was considered a much less dangerous gambling product than electronic gaming machines. However, the addition of a play-on-demand gaming machine to the bingo environment may convert the modern charitable bingo sector to a new arena for problem gambling. This article is a useful warning for gambling regulators.

Gamble while you gamble: electronic games in Ontario Charitable Gaming Centres
Harrigan, K, Brown, D & MacLaren, V
This study was conducted by a team from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and Brandon University, Canada.

Find out more

For more information about these studies, read the August research update from our Gambling Information Resource Office (GIRO).

GIRO research update August 2015 (PDF, 223 KB)

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