26 September 2023

One to four male gamblers suffering harm

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One in four Australian men who gamble are – or are at the risk of – experiencing gambling harm according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

The new AIFS report, Gambling participation and harm among Australian men, is part of the Institute’s Ten to Men study – the largest longitudinal study of men’s health and wellbeing in Australia.

Program Lead of Ten to Men at AIFS, Sean Martin said the report, based on a study of around 8,000 participants, revealed that in 2020/21, 44 per cent of Australian men aged 18 to 63 years had gambled in the past 12 months.

“Most men who gambled spent money on multiple activities, including horse racing (56 per cent), poker machines (54 per cent) and sports betting (46 per cent),” Dr Martin said.

“The Report found that one in four men who gambled (27 per cent or around 739,511) were classified as being at risk of, or experiencing, problem gambling in the past year, with over one-quarter (26 per cent) of these men also experiencing financial stress.”

He said that in addition to financial harms, gambling could impact relationships and health and wellbeing in a range of ways.

Executive Manager of AIFS’ Australian Gambling Research Centre, Rebecca Jenkinson said the research found that men who were at risk of gambling problems were significantly more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety and depression and lower levels of life satisfaction.

“They were also much more likely to drink alcohol at harmful levels, use illicit drugs and smoke tobacco,” Dr Jenkinson said.

AIFS’s 18-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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