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Interest in gambling sees decline in New South Wales

The percentage of adults in New South Wales who gamble has now dropped by 12 per cent since 2011. This according to a new study released by the Australian state’s government.

With the NSW Gambling Survey 2019 being released by the NSW government after being commissioned by the Responsible Gambling Fund, it found that 53 per cent of the adult population gambled over the last 12 month, this has gone down from 65 per cent in 2011.

The survey of 10,000 people has also found that the rate of problem gambling in NSW has remained relatively stable since 2011, this had edged up from 0.8 per cent to one per cent. However, when respondents were assessed against the Problem Gambling Severity Index. It was estimated that 7.2 per cent of the public are, at the least, at a moderate risk of problem gambling.

The results have also shown that gambling problems are more prevalent amongst younger people. Gamblers aged between 18 and 24 have been most likely to be at moderate risk or problem gamblers, with a total of 14.9 per cent falling into those categories, in comparison with the 7.2 per cent overall figure.

The study has added that those who experience gambling problems are generally more likely to be single, unemployed, indigenous, male, living in rental accommodation, living in a low socioeconomic area and to draw their income from welfare payments.

The government has commented that it has allocated A$35m (£18.6m/€21.6m/$24.1m) to responsible gambling programmes in its 2019-20 budget.

The survey has found that lotteries were the most common form of gambling, which was then followed by gaming machines, instant scratch cards and race betting. Eight per cent had gambled online in the past year with race betting being the most common form of online gambling.

A total of A$9.53bn was spent on gambling in the state in 2016-17, with A$976m being splashed out on racing, $152m spent on sports betting and $8.4bn on gaming. A grand total of 73 per cent of gambling expenditure in the state was on gaming machines.

The state government commented: “The NSW government is committed to preventing and minimising gambling harm.

“The information gathered from this survey will inform prevention, education and treatment initiatives, as well as policy development and regulatory efforts.”

In July, the government set out plans to review its existing responsible gambling measures. The findings of the review, supported by research from Central Queensland University, will be published next year.

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