News State Victoria News Gambling costs Victoria nearly $7 billion annually, new research suggests

Gambling costs Victoria nearly $7 billion annually, new research suggests

Companies linked to poker machines were big donors to the political parties last financial year. Photo: AAP
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The price of picking up after Victoria’s lucrative gambling business has been estimated in the billions and problem punters aren’t the main culprits.

The Central Queensland University research, commission by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, calculated that gambling harm costs the state almost $7 billion for the 2014-15 financial year.

Previous research focused solely on severe-harm victims and put the figure at $2.36 billion, but the expanded CQU study encompassed all types of punters.

“The study shows that in 2014-15, low- and moderate-risk gambling made a significant contribution to the social cost of gambling harm in Victoria at $4.3 billion,” lead author and associate professor Matthew Browne said on Thursday.

“During the same period, the cost of high-risk gambling, sometimes called ‘problem gambling’, totalled $2.36 billion.”

The Australian-first study shows gambling issues can impact all sorts of gamblers, foundation CEO Louise Glanville said.

“About 85 per cent of gambling harm in Victoria is associated with low- and moderate-risk gamblers, and only 15 per cent with people who experience severe gambling harm,” she said.

Behaviour modification tactics, including setting gambling spend limits, can transform individuals from low-risk to no-risk, Ms Glanville added.

THE SOCIAL COST OF GAMBLING 2014-15

  • Family and relationship problems – $2.2 billion
  • Emotional and psychological issues – $1.6 billion
  • Personal financial losses – $1.3 billion
  • Costs to the Victorian government in research, regulation and support services – $1.1 billion
  • Lost productivity and work-related costs – $600 million
  • Crime – $100 million-AAP