The prevalence of problem gambling in Tasmania

Tasmanian Social and Economic Impact Studies (SEIS) reveal that around 2 per cent of the adult population have serious issues with gambling, being either  ‘moderate risk gamblers’ or ‘problem gamblers', as measured by the Canadian Problem Gambling Index.

Lower socio-economic communities have a higher prevalence rate at 3.9%.

The prevalence screen only asks about gamblers - there are others affected by problem gamblers including their partners, family, friends, fellow-workers and employers.

The SEIS also showed that gamblers can be adversely affected well after they stop gambling. They continue to suffer with damaged finances and loss of trust with loved ones.

In Tasmania, electronic gaming machines (EGMs) are the major form of gambling causing problems. Over the period 2000 to 2010, clients of the Gamblers Help service were asked what forms of gambling were causing problems.

  • 75.5% of clients reported having experienced problems arising from using EGMs at hotels or clubs.
  • 39.5% of clients reported experiencing problems from using EGM at casinos.
  • 15.5% of clients experienced problems from racing and
  • 7.8% clients experienced problems from playing keno.

Problems from online gambling are beginning to show in the services' clients, but EGMs still dominate the harm.