Gambling can’t be tackled with a bet each way

Gambling can’t be tackled with a bet each way

AUSTRALIA has a long tradition of social disapproval of gambling. Gambling, however, like grog, is here to stay. It’s been with us since the First Fleet arrived, and most Australians today enjoy – and are entitled to continue to enjoy – the occasional punt on the horses, spin of the pokies, or an instant scratch lottery. Eighty per cent of Australians gamble each year. For the majority, it is a relatively harmless recreational activity that doesn’t cause severe social or economic dislocation.

 

Yet gambling losses have skyrocketed in the past 25 years – from $94 lost per adult in 1975-76 to $988 in 2000-01. Last year, Australians gambled away $14.37 billion, $1.1 billion more than the previous year. The proliferation of poker machines – one in five of the world’s gaming machines is in Australia – has swallowed up the bulk of the increased losses. In the latest figures, gambling losses were highest per person in the Northern Territory, outstripping NSW and Victoria for the first time. Western Australia, on the other hand, does not have poker machines in its clubs and pubs, and had the lowest level of gambling losses per adult in 2000-2001.

 

You don’t have …