Consumer perspectives on gambling harm minimisation measures in an Australian jurisdiction

Abstract

This paper investigates consumer perspectives of implemented and proposed gambling harm minimisation measures taken from a geographically stratified survey of adult residents in Tasmania, Australia. Electronic gaming machine (EGM) gamblers were asked whether current and proposed EGM harm minimisation measures impacted on their actual or anticipated gambling expenditure and enjoyment. Participants were analysed based on their endorsement of Problem Gambling Severity Index criteria (scores 0-27), and categorised as non-problem gamblers (score 0), low-risk gamblers (scores 1-2), and moderate/problem gamblers (scores 3+). Specifically, we wanted to identify harm minimisation policies that resulted in the lowest decreases in enjoyment for non-problem gamblers and the highest decreases in expenditure for moderate/problem gamblers. Regarding current policies, the lowest decrease in enjoyment for non-problem gamblers was the ban on Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in EGM venues (0.2 %) while the highest decrease in expenditure for moderate/problem gamblers was the reduction in maximum lines (46.9 %). For the proposed measures, the lowest decrease in enjoyment for non-problem gamblers was visible clocks (1.2 %) while the highest decrease in expenditure for moderate/problem gamblers was reducing cash withdrawals (36.3 %). These results suggest universal EGM harm minimisation measures can differentially target non-problem and moderate/problem gamblers.

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