There’s no denying that gambling can be a fun and entertaining pastime; however, we also cannot ignore the industry’s dark underbelly. Unfortunately, Australia has been experiencing an alarming rise in problem gambling rates, with natives losing an estimated $25 billion annually to online betting, the sector’s fastest-growing segment.
A pastime practiced by over 80% of adults, which translates to the highest rate of gambling in the world, it has never been so crucial for governing bodies within this jurisdiction to raise awareness of problem gambling. Of course, promotion of mindful practices doesn’t automatically mean perks such as AU no deposit gambling bonuses by operators will diminish. But, equipping players to understand when it’s time to distance oneself from the hobby is essential.
The country has already made significant strides in an attempt to help curb this growing issue. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives launched a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on problem gamblers. The committee criticized the spread of online gambling advertising, emphasizing that it was being intentionally marketed alongside sports, which is seen as a harmless, social activity. As a result, they recommended a blanket ban on all gambling advertising. The country has also introduced several measures to help punters gamble responsibly and reduce the risks of gambling-related harm.
One of the most popular tools to help punters exercise responsible gambling habits is deposit limits. Not only do they help individuals maintain control over their spending by imposing a limit on the amount of money they are allowed to deposit into their account within a given period. They also safeguard against impulsive behavior, which can often lead to players spending more money than they can afford to lose. By establishing financial boundaries, players are able to build a healthy relationship with gambling and view it primarily as a source of entertainment rather than a money-making opportunity.
Another effective solution to help gamblers at risk stay in control is blocking software. Blocking software is a third-party tool that punters can employ, as the name suggests, to block access to any and all online gambling websites and apps. The goal here is to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” approach, aiding players in avoiding the development of harmful habits by removing all forms of temptation.
The software is also a great way to help users exercise self-control by placing a barrier between them and all the online gambling options available on the market. Moreover, by enforcing a cooling-off period, it gives users time to reflect on their gambling behavior, allowing them more time to make rational decisions. Learning how to take a step back is crucial to avoiding the development of problem gambling habits, which could have a detrimental effect on players’ mental, financial, and physical well-being.
Australians have many blocking software options available at their disposal, including Gamblock, Betfilter, BetBlocker, NetNanny, and Gamban, all of which can increase their awareness of their gambling behavior and hold them accountable for their actions.
Self-exclusion registries allow players to voluntarily block access to a gaming website for anywhere between three months to their entire life. During this period, players are able to take a step back and reassess their gambling habits without the temptation to place a bet, deposit money, or access their accounts. In fact, operators must also ensure that no marketing materials get sent to those players who have opted to sign up for the registry.
Over the last few years, as problem gambling rates continued to skyrocket, a number of banks began offering their own self-exclusion options, with the chief executive of the Australian Banking Association revealing that over 500,000 Australians opted to bar themselves from gambling. However, most recently, the Australian government stepped in by launching their own national self-exclusion tool called BetStop. It covers all wagering service providers in the country, including telephone-based and online operators. Moreover, all licensees are required to promote the service on their apps, websites, and in all future marketing materials.
Site Manager Grace Roberts strongly believes that a pastime such as online gambling needs to be promoted through the right channels. Having been in the sector for over a decade, she has a deep understanding the impact of the promotion of responsible gambling may have on its players. In her leisure time, Graced enjoys experimenting in her new-found hobby: mixology.