Civil Voices
NEWS  | 

Problem Gambling Among Young People on the Rise – Report

Thursday, 7th February 2013 at 10:35 am
Staff Reporter
There has been a rapid rise in problem gambling among young men driven by dramatic growth in online sports betting, according to the Australian Medical Association.

Thursday, 7th February 2013
at 10:35 am
Staff Reporter



Problem Gambling Among Young People on the Rise – Report
Thursday, 7th February 2013 at 10:35 am

There has been a rapid rise in problem gambling among young men driven by dramatic growth in online sports betting, according to the Australian Medical Association.

The AMA has called on the Federal Government to take a national leadership role as a matter of urgency in protecting consumers and weaning the States and Territories off gaming revenue, in a Position Statement, The Health Effects of Problem Gambling, released today.

The AMA warns that problem gambling has become a significant public health issue, and could exact an increasingly heavy toll on health, family relationships, community safety and productivity unless urgent action is taken to regulate existing gaming activities and curb the growth of online and interactive gaming.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said young people, in particular, were at heightened risk of developing problems with gambling, and there needed to be a comprehensive and coordinated response from all levels of government to tackle the problem.

“Online sports betting is Australia’s fastest growing form of gambling, and has been associated with a rapid escalation in young males seeking treatment for problem gambling,” Dr Hambleton said, adding that for every problem gambler, up to 10 other people – family, friends, workmates and employers – felt the effects, in strained relationships, financial problems, reduced productivity, depression and substance abuse.

“This means that up to 5 million Australians feel the health, social and financial impacts of problem gambling, including family, friends, work colleagues and employers,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Medical practitioners see first-hand the devastating consequences of gambling.

“Problem gamblers see their GP more often than the average, and suffer a range of stress-related conditions from hypertension and insomnia to stomach upsets, headaches and depression.”

Dr Hambleton said up to 80 per cent of problem gambling involved poker machines, but the rapid growth of interactive gambling, such as online sports betting, mobile apps and gambling themed games on social media websites posed a significant risk, particularly for young people.

“Young people are at heightened risk of developing problems with gambling, and are
particularly susceptible to interactive gambling,” Dr Hambleton said.

In the Position Statement, the AMA calls for the Federal Government to work closely with its State and Territory counterparts to establish an independent national gambling regulator to oversee the industry and ensure consumers are adequately protected.

It also wants the Commonwealth to provide incentives to encourage the States and Territories to reduce their reliance on gambling revenue.

AMA Vice President and Chair of the AMA Public, Child and Youth Health Committee,
Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said a succession of inquiries and reports had highlighted the harm caused by problem gambling, and it was time for action.

“Despite all this work, we are yet to see a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to tackle this issue,” Professor Dobb said.

“Poker machines continue to cause significant harm to individuals, families and communities, and more recently there has been a dramatic rise in online gambling and sports betting.

“A coordinated policy response and political leadership is needed if we are to tackle problem gambling, and curbing this behaviour among young people must be a priority.”

“It is a serious problem, and unless action is taken now, it will only get worse,” Professor Dobb said.

The AMA Position Statement on The Health Effects of Problem Gambling 2012 is at


Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

We specialise in data solutions consulting and IT profession...

DQUBE Solutions

More Suppliers


Calls for Ban on Gambling Donations to Political Parties

Luke Michael

Friday, 2nd February 2018 at 1:36 pm

Vic Government Accused of ‘Sneaky’ Push for Cash Free Pokies Gambling

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 16th August 2017 at 1:53 pm

Federal Govt Extends Advocacy Funding – States Called on to Follow Suit

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 9th August 2017 at 4:02 pm

HILDA Spotlights Changing Attitudes to Same Sex Couples and a Love of Lotto

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 2nd August 2017 at 8:05 am


Australians Losing Trust in Charities

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 7th February 2018 at 5:28 pm

Calls to Overhaul NDIS to Better Accommodate Indigenous Australians

Luke Michael

Monday, 5th February 2018 at 12:11 pm

Senate Urged to Reject Welfare Reform Bill

Wendy Williams

Monday, 5th February 2018 at 5:48 pm

Prisoners with Disability Subject to Harrowing Abuse, Report Finds

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 7th February 2018 at 4:19 pm

One Comment

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Civil Voices
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!