Responsible Gambling: The Main Principles
In Australia, both federal and state governments, endeavor towards a secure and save gambling environment. Online and offline betting by both domestic and foreign providers is professionally regulated to promote the ethos of responsible betting. Responsible Gambling refer to the efforts geared towards exercising control and informed choices to make sure that gaming is kept within the affordability brackets or limit as regards money and time. Responsible betting should strike a balance with other life activities and responsibilities. It is driven by the sole purposes of keeping at bay all harms and detrimental effects that may arise from gaming.
The idea of responsible betting is amplified by the notion that any commercial product carries an innate potential for negative consequences among its consumers. This is why the Australia’s Productivity Commission of 1999 was set up to find out the role of providers in lessening the harm that arises from their gaming products. The findings led to policy and practice shift among the providers, with an aim to effectively reduce the harm.
Authorities tasked with ensuring responsible gambling, further commissioned a survey led by experts which generated the report ‘Behavioral Indicators of Responsible Gambling Consumption’ that identifies the following principles of responsible betting.
- Affordability. Highlights that gambling should be within the individual’s budgeted limits in terms of money, time and other resources.
- Balance. Betting should be balanced with the rest of personal activities, responsibilities and priorities, as well.
- Informed Choice. Providers of betting products should afford consumers a platform to make and exercise informed gambling choices. They should know the associated risk and the probability of losing or winning.
- Control. Gamblers should be able to freely control their own gambling behavior. For instance, when is the right time to stop playing?
- Enjoyment. Gambling should primarily be a source of pleasure, entertainment and fun. It should not be viewed as a money making enterprise.
- Harm-free. Betting should be devoid of detrimental effects on the side of gamblers.
Australian Regulatory Bodies and Licenses
Regulation of gaming activities in Australia is a shared responsibility between the federal and state/territorial governments. The Federal government, through the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) develops the broader policies and legal confines and then delegates the execution duties to the following authorities.
- The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) oversee gambling in Victoria State. It has the statutory authority to regulate Victoria’s liquor and gambling industries. It has a vision for Victorians and visitors to enjoy safe and responsible platform in both land-based casinos and online platforms.
- In New South Wales, there is the Liquor and Gaming New South Wales (L&GNSW) which is responsible for policy, compliance and licensing. There is the Liquor and Gaming Authority with an almost similar responsibility of regulating casinos, liquor, registered clubs and gaming machines.
- Queensland. The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (QOLGR) oversees licensing and the eventual compliance while the Office of Regulatory Policy (QORP) is mandated to mandated to oversee indigenous policy and the developing of progressive policies regarding the management of liquor and the minimization of gambling harm.
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The Australian Capital Territory Gambling and Racing Commission was established in 1999 through the Gambling and Racing Control Act. The Commission has the responsibility to regulate gaming machines, betting, lottery platforms, racing and interactive gaming activities. It also provides the much-needed monitoring and research regarding the social effects of gaming.
- South Australia. There is the Consumer and Business Services Department that is within the Attorney General’s office. It is tasked with policy formulation, licensing of casinos and ensuring ultimate compliance to the set guidelines. There is also the Lotteries Commission of South Australia within the Auditor General’s department. It oversees lotteries in South Australia.
- Tasmania. Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission was established in 1993 through the Gaming Act of 1993. The commission is tasked to mobilize resources towards ideal and regulated gambling environment, amplify activities that are geared towards betting harm minimization and proactively engage all stakeholders on the promotion of industry’s ethical and best practices.
- Western Australia. The Western Australian Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor sits under the ministry of Racing and Gaming and it is mandated to ensure the formulation of responsible betting policy, licensing and ensuring compliance among the providers.
- Northern Territory. The Northern Territory Commission is largely responsible for compliance observance NT licensing ensures all betting product providers have been duly licensed.
Self-Check Quiz for Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction is one of the indicators of irresponsible betting among casino players. While, numerous authorities and non-government organizations have been formed to address this challenge, it still remains a significant challenge to the crusaders of responsible betting. Here is a brief quiz that can assess whether you are addicted to betting or not. If your answer is ‘YES’ in more than 5 of these questions, you might have a problem of addiction.
- Do you increase the amount of money you bet to cover your losses from previous sessions?
- Do you feel the compulsion to over indulge in gambling while under the influence of alcohol?
- Do you spend most of your productive in gambling?
- Do you consider betting as a regular and profitable money making enterprise?
- Do you have a problem in balancing your household budget with the gaming budget?
- Do you spend a big percentage of your net income in betting?
- Do you find it hard to stop gaming once you have started?
- Does your gaming behavior result to relational problem with your immediate family members?
- Do you find gambling as the best option whenever you are stressed up?
- Does gaming disrupt your pre-planned daily or weekly activities?
The Consequences of Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction is detrimental, both socially and emotionally:
- Social Consequences Family Wrangles – It can lead to tensions within families as most of the income and time is spent on gaming at the expense of the family.
- Suicidal thoughts. In cases where gamblers have lost substantial amounts in betting, suicidal thoughts can set in.
- Dereliction of personal social duties. Excessive betting may lead to individuals taking a break from the expected social duties as much attention is shifted towards gambling.
- Diminished social capital. You do not have time for significant others as you are overly hooked to betting. The reduced level of personal interactions may lead to less social capital.
- Emotional Consequences
They are mainly related to anxiety and depression due to gambling:
- Stress – When you lose your big gambles, you are likely to feel stressed up.
- Anxiety – addictive betting is highly anxious on the part of gamblers. Gamblers are anxious about the next winning and how their lives might change for good.
- Depression – Feelings of helplessness, despair and irritation may set in due to addictive betting, especially, after losing your fortunes.
- Excessive gaming may lead to reduced or complete loss of interest in usual and productive activities.
There are various and diverse self-protection tools that can help you avoid the problem of addictive betting. For example:
- Self-exclusion. You temporarily or permanently ban yourself from gaming activities. Both online and land-based casinos in Australia provide self-exclusion facilities which you can use.
- Play Limits. You can limit your play time through prompting pop ups that appears on your interface as a constant reminder of the length of your playing sessions. You will have the option of logging out of the casino or continue playing.
- Game Speed. You can alter the speed of gaming machines to reduce the number of spins or rounds in a given period. This reduces the gaming budget.
- Reality Checks. Some gaming machines have a reality check feature that is intended to give you an on-screen notification regarding the amount of time spent in betting.
- Deposit limits. If you find yourself betting outside your budget, or, depositing too often, you have the chance to activate the self-imposed deposit limits which casinos must adhere to.
- Loss Limits. When you are about to hit your weekly loss limit, a pop up will appear to indicate your closeness to the limit. The gaming session will automatically be terminated.
In Australia, just like in the USA, Canada and New Zealand, the majority age of 18+ years, is considered as the gamble age. This is verified, especially during the withdrawal of money from your registered account. You will be required to submit your scanned copy of ID, Passport or driving license bearing the actual dates of birth.
Advice on How to Gamble Responsibly
To avoid addiction, observe the following guidelines:
- Avoid gambling under the influence of alcohol or substance abuse.
- Ensure to draw the budget and keep it as minimal as possible.
- Do not perceive betting as source of income.
- Minimize your frequency to casino logins.
- Ensure that betting does not clash with your routine daily activities.
- Leverage the pre-commitment tools to set your time and money limits on gaming.
- Avoid gaming whenever you are tensed up, stressed or upset.
- Use software like Bet Blocker or GamBan to block sites you do not access to.
- Do not over-rely on good luck strategies as they sometimes fail to achieve the desired ends.
- Ensure to find a balance between gambg and other recreational activities.
Gambling Therapy Online
In case, you might have difficulties in your behavior, you can benefit from professional online therapy courtesy of:
- https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/. The site offers free private and confidential help to addicted gamblers. There is an instant 24/7 chat feature, a telephone number – 1800-858-858, SMS support and a self-help dashboard. You can join a discussion where you problem is discussed and possible solutions proposed.
- https://www.aacbt.org.au/. The Australian Association for Cognitive and Behavior Therapy provides high quality and professional therapy to the addicted persons. It also offers a wide range of other behavioral therapies. It has offices in South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. You can leave your enquiry filling in the special form on the website or through the email – [email protected]
- https://qisnsw.org.au/videos/. Consumer Voices is a professional Gambling Impact Society that runs an education program to address the issue of addiction within communities. Peer educators have been trained on how to help individuals affected by negative betting practices.
For personalized help, here are some friendly platforms:
- https://smartrecoveryaustralia.com.au . The site offers evidence-based addiction support where trained facilitators cater for all forms of gaming addiction. You can plan for an online meeting or in-person meetings. In case you need help, there is a wizard through which you can forward your message and it will be answered within the shortest time possible
- https://www.salvationarmy.org.au . With a default search bar section, the site will hook you up with a ‘salvo’ near you. With professional counsellors throughout Australia, you can book a date and get priceless therapy and advice on how to deal with betting problems.