Australians ignore problems caused by scratch cards, lotteries and bingo

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Throwing a scratch card or lottery ticket with your weekly store or attending a regular bingo night might sound a little fun, but a new study suggests people are underestimating the potentially harmful effects of these forms of gambling.

Researchers at the George Institute surveyed just over 2,000 Australians about gambling products and found that while most slots, casino games, and sports betting are considered harmful, very few called them harmful. scratch tickets, lotteries and bingo, although they are among the ten most harmful games of chance. some products.

Scratches actually cause more harm to Australians than betting on horse or dog racing and keno.

Lead author Dr Leon Booth said that with Australians among the biggest players in the world and rates rising during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was time to look for effective ways to minimize game-related damage.

“These ‘softer’ forms of gambling have become so standardized that people don’t think of them as gambling, and they are also very accessible. The promise of instant rewards also makes scratch cards appealing to problem gamblers,” he said. -he declares.

“And while bingo can be seen as an innocent social activity by most people, players are more likely to depend on welfare, which further compounds the financial losses.”

Australians gamble nearly $ 25 billion each year and around 1.4 million Australians have gambling problems.

“Although various strategies and policies have been recommended, including decreasing the availability of gaming products, restricting advertising and implementing public education campaigns, their success depends on public support,” he said. he declared.

“But if people don’t think there is a problem with certain forms of gambling, they are unlikely to be in favor of further government measures to contain it.”

The study found that many Australians would support further restrictions on slots, casino games and sports betting, but highlighted the need to get more people to understand that scratches, lotteries and bingo are not harmless forms of entertainment.

“This is especially important given that lotteries and scratch tickets are the most commonly used forms of gambling,” added Dr Booth.

He suggests that education programs may be needed to better align public perceptions and actual harm levels for all products, but particularly lotteries, scratch tickets, and bingo.

“Greater efforts are needed to ensure that Australians in general – and gamers in particular – understand that all of these popular gaming products are harmful,” he said.


Scratches, Lotto Tickets Can Cause Gambling Problems, Study Finds


More information:
Leon Booth et al. Public perceptions of harm for nine popular gaming products, Game Studies Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1007 / s10899-021-10014-5

Provided by George Institute for Global Health

Quote: Australians Unaware of Problems Caused by Scratches, Lotteries and Bingo (2021, March 2) Retrieved October 2, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-03-aussies-unaware- issues-scratchies-lotteries.html

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