Responsible Gambling

Sarah Mitchell
Sarah MitchellLast updated: June 24, 2024

Responsible gambling helps players maintain control so they do not lose more than they can afford. Many gamblers do not have the self-control or ability to walk away from casino games. Instead, they chase losses and end up in dire financial situations.

Here at AusCasinos, we promote responsible gambling and provide all the details players need to remain safe and in control.

We want to make sure that online gambling remains a fun pastime. On this page, we provide details on how players can set limits to manage bankrolls, how to identify a possible gambling problem, and where to get help in Australia if needed.

What is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling is a practice taken on by the Australian government and online operators.

With this, various guidelines are set and used to prevent gambling harm to customers. Whether gambling on pokies, table games, or any other offering at an online casino, responsible gambling plays a key role in keeping players safe.

Online gambling is prevalent throughout Australia. To ensure that all residents have a positive experience, the Australian Government and state governments have come together to introduce the National Consumer Protection Framework. This protects Australians who gamble online and sets forth guidelines for online operators. The Framework includes important measures that promote responsible gambling, including:

In Australia, responsible gambling helps to combat and prevent addiction and also prevents underage Aussies from engaging in gambling activities. Recently, the Australian government introduced new rules and these ensure that all gambling ads in Australia focus on player safety.

Overall, Aussie rules address the following:

What is the Legal Gambling Age in Australia?

In Australia, the legal age for gambling is 18 years old.

This applies to all forms of gambling, including online casinos, sports betting, and lotto tickets.

All gambling operators must conduct strict age verification checks to help prevent underage gambling. The Australian government enforces these regulations (through the National Consumer Protection Framework) to ensure responsible gambling practices. This framework helps to protect young people and promote a safe gambling environment.

How Can I Gamble Responsibly?

As a player, it is important to be responsible when gambling.

Since there is always a chance of losing money, each player must be in control of their spending to avoid potential problems. Online gambling should be a form of entertainment and should be a fun and positive experience. Here are a few ways to be a responsible gambler in Australia:

What is Gambling Addiction?

A gambling addiction is a disorder that leads to the compulsive urge to gamble and continue gambling. Also referred to as ludomania, this addiction is similar to a drug addiction. A sense of satisfaction is obtained and dopamine is released in the brain. This can create a feeling of euphoria, which is why people gamble even when losing. The compulsion to gamble cannot be controlled.

For many, gambling is enjoyable and players can stop when needed. However, when the rewards system in the brain is altered by compulsive gambling, dopamine rushes causing that feeling of happiness and satisfaction. This increase in dopamine will compel gamblers to continue placing bets so they can ride out the high. Those with ludomania are unable to stop their actions, even when they create some significant problems.

Gambling not only takes its toll financially but affects other areas of life as well. Take a look at how finances, relationships, jobs, and mental health are all impacted by gambling addiction.

Gambling Addiction Statistics

Residents of Australia are the most prolific gamblers in the world. Per capita losses are at the highest rate, with 40% of residents gambling weekly. Studies have shown that 1.6 million Aussie gamblers are at a high risk of developing a gambling problem. The availability of online casinos presents a serious problem for many.

These gambling addiction statistics clearly show why this is a major concern.

What Are the Causes of Gambling Addiction?

Not every person who plays a casino game will become an addict. Millions gamble responsibly and never have an issue with addiction. The root cause of an addiction is traced back to genetic disposition, social factors, and more. Studies have been conducted that show how certain risk factors play a pivotal role in developing a gambling disorder.

Biological Risk Factors

Some people may be genetically predisposed and will have a higher risk of being a problem gambler.

Those who have a brain reward system that is underactive will often be thrill-seekers who like to gamble. Some genes are common in those battling gambling addiction. The MAO-A gene is linked to gambling and has a huge effect on how dopamine and serotonin are distributed in the brain.

Those who are around other gambling addicts, such as family members, will also be at a higher risk.

Psychological Risk Factors

Many gamblers believe myths, such as chasing losses to make up for the amount that has already been lost.

This thought process leads to additional losses. With easy access to online pokies and scratch cards, it is easy for Aussies to place bets online. Many times, those with a gambling addiction are unable to maintain control. They have distorted thinking methods that lead them to believe the big win is just a few games or spins away.

Gambling can influence how our brain works. When addicts gamble, they experience an increased release of dopamine. This feel-good hormone causes a sense of happiness, even euphoria.

The result is that people continue to gamble even when suffering negative consequences.

Social Risk Factors

Stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues can lead to gambling.

Those who suffer from diagnosed disorders are at a higher risk of being problem gamblers. Many people will gamble as a way to cope with anxiety. They often feel separated from the negative feelings and enjoy the excitement of gambling. If gambling becomes a coping mechanism, the chances of an addiction are high.

Aside from mental issues, gamblers who use illegal drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk. It is important to know there are also prescribed medications that can increase gambling behaviours. Dopamine Agonists, Antipsychotics, and Stimulants can all alter how our brain naturally releases dopamine and serotonin and are linked to increased risks of gambling disorders.

Gambling Addiction Warning Signs

There are some red flags to watch for when gambling. Many people cannot identify their gambling addiction, so it is important for friends and family members to also be aware of these signs.

In Australia, men are more likely to experience a gambling problem than women. Those between the ages of 18 and 34 are also at a higher risk.

Many gambling addicts will display multiple traits. If a gambling addiction is suspected, professional help should be obtained. Here are some warning signs to watch for. Any of these may indicate the development of a gambling addiction.

Where To Get Help in Australia

If a gambling problem has been identified it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

Ignoring the problem will lead to further financial problems, social issues, and medical conditions. There are many ways to get help. It can be as simple as a phone call or an email. By reaching out to professionals, gambling addicts can start their road to recovery.

This can be achieved with therapy, group support through counselling sessions, and prescribed medications like mood stabilisers or antidepressants.

Gambling Help Online

Anyone who is affected by problem gambling can use this free online service. Available across Australia, it offers 24-hour access with online chat or phone support. Gambling Help Online offers free email counseling, professional counsellors, self-help information, and more.

Gamblers Help

Emotional and psychological support is free through Gambler’s Help services. Services include online and phone counselling, peer support,  and education on gambling habits. Funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, all services are free and confidential.

National Council on Problem Gambling

The National Council on Problem Gambling is an international resource. Here, gamblers can find links to local organisations that offer help with addiction. There is also a  24/7 hotline offered if immediate support is required.

Gamblers Anonymous

Attend meetings or receive phone support. Gamblers Anonymous hosts many local meetings throughout Australia. It is a fellowship where members share experiences and help each other deal with their addiction. The primary purpose is to stop gambling by following a strict step regimen.

Gambling Therapy

At Gambling Therapy, free online service is offered. Here, one can get advice and support on problem gambling. There is a live helpline that supports text in any language. The service also offers a Gambling Therapy support app.

Responsible Gambling Tools

There are some useful things that players can do if they feel they have a problem with gambling. All of the reputable websites that provide real money casino games to Aussie players have a list of tools that can be used or free. These can help to reduce problem gambling and ensure that players remain in control.

If you are a player who has an addiction or feels you have no control over spending, these tools can be a great option. They can easily be accessed at any casino through provided links or by contacting the customer support team. With options to limit gameplay to setting deposit limits, there are ways to regain control.

Self-Assessment Tests

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Self-assessment tests are a great option for those who are concerned they are developing a gambling problem.

These tests can be found online for free and can reveal habits that may be considered an addiction. Simple online tests are the first step to identifying a problem and getting help. After completing self-assessment tests, users will be provided with some suggestions on what steps to take next. Encourage users to take a third-party self-assessment test.

This may reveal that their gambling habits are verging on being defined as an addiction. A vital first step!

Reality Checks

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Reality checks can be great tools for those who play for longer periods.

It is a pop-up program that will appear when playing real money games. When the message appears, players can opt to stop playing or continue betting. It is a simple reminder that lets players know how long they have been gambling.

These checks will be applied for each gambling session. Many online casinos will have reality check settings that can be altered. Players can select the length of time between checks. This is a great way to manage time playing and reduce the chances of overspending or gambling for too long.

Gambling Limits

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When playing at online casinos in Australia, each licensed website is required to provide responsible gambling tools.

These include the ability to set a variety of limits. Players can choose to set daily, weekly, or monthly limits that will limit the amount that can be deposited into an account. There are also time limits which will set an amount of time that is allowed for real money play.

All play will be stopped when any of these limits have been reached, which can help with money and time management.

Self-Exclusion

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In Australia, BetStop is the National Self-Exclusion Register.

Here, players can voluntarily exclude themselves from accessing any online websites that provide real money gambling services. With BetStop, players can exclude themselves for a minimum of three months and for as long as a lifetime. Each online casino is required to provide self-exclusion options.

This can include a permanent exclusion from all betting sites or a temporary break, which can allow players to seek the help they need for an addiction.

Blocking Tools

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Blocking software can be used by players in Australia.

This will prohibit access to online sites that offer gambling activities. These tools can help gamblers limit access and avoid the development of addiction. They can be used on any device to provide complete protection from online casino access.

In Australia, various third-party software providers can block online access, including:

  •       Gamblock
  •       NetNanny
  •       Gamban
  •       Betfilter
  •       BetBlocker

How Can I Help a Gambling Addict?

Gambling addiction can affect many people. It is not just the player that will suffer the consequences. If you have a family member or a friend who is struggling with a gambling addiction, there is help available. Some people do not even realise they have an addiction, but it can be evident to others. Gamblers who are battling an addiction will often become angry when approached on the subject. They may deny they have a problem and can push people away.

The best thing to do is to gather as much information on gambling disorders as possible. Before talking with the gambler, be ready for a confrontation, but be set in your beliefs and willingness to help. Here are some things that can be done to help a gambler, along with some things that should always be avoided.

Responsible Gambling Summary

In Australia, gambling is a very popular pastime. Due to the large number of people engaging in real money play, gambling providers have worked with the government to put programs into place. These promote responsible gambling with an attempt to limit the harm caused by gambling addictions. As a player, responsible gambling is all about being in control and knowing limits.

At AusCasinos, we promote responsible gambling and ensure that all online casinos we recommend have the tools needed to set limits and reduce harm. By recognising the signs of gambling addiction, Australian gamblers can receive the help needed to regain control and enjoy the entertainment online casinos have to offer.

Be sure to check out our news section to find other articles related to responsible gambling. We keep readers up to date on the latest changes in Australia that help promote healthy gambling.

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Responsible Gambling FAQ

The best thing to do is to take a self-assessment test. Be aware of habits, such as spending too much time or money playing games. If you use money to play games instead of paying bills, chase losses, or feel you have to gamble, this may indicate an addiction.

Yes. By using GamBan or other services, it is possible to self-exclude from any websites that provide real money gambling activities.

In Australia, there are many resources available. Online help can be found for free and there are professional counselling services that address problem gambling.

Yes. Each online operator must legally present tools to help players maintain control. These include being able to set deposit, play, and loss limits.

The best way to help a person with a gambling problem is to talk with them and address the issue. Be patient and listen to their reasons. Take time to explain the consequences and how you are personally affected. Try to urge them to get professional help.

No. When a person develops a gambling addiction, it has many effects It can be financially devastating, but also affects relationships, careers, and mental health.

Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell Editor in Chief
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Sarah is our Editor-in-Chief. She brings a decade of experience and is passionate about all things iGaming, keeping readers up to date with the latest news, trends and innovation in the industry.

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Last updated: June 24, 2024