Is Online Gambling Addiction a Problem in Australia?
Online gambling is on the rise worldwide, depending on jurisdiction of course. Many forms of gambling are legally permitted in states and territories in Australia, but is it causing problematic addictions?
Gaming vs Gambling
First and foremost, it’s important to bring your attention to the terms “gaming” and “gambling.” Although both are used interchangeably by many online casinos operating in Australia, the term “gaming” seems to have a less pejorative aspect to it.Technically, gambling is gaming. Slot games, card games, and table games played for centuries are games, after all. But in modern-day usage, “gaming” now largely refers to video games, especially those played online and professionally such as CS:GO, Fortnite, League of Legends, and so on.There are some people, especially adolescents and young men, who do become addicted to these games, but seldom is there the expectation of financial return from casually playing a match of CS:GO, for instance. With gambling, there is certainly an expectation that high-stakes games have real jackpots and real possibilities of returns.There is also some overlap nowadays with video games and online gambling. Both are often visually appealing and can contain ‘minigames’ and other features, and many modern games have exploited players with ‘lootboxes’ that render the game essentially like a casino in many ways. But this is a topic for another blog post! For now, we are only concerned with online gambling through slot games, poker, craps, etc.
Online Gambling in Australia
The Australian gambling statistics reveal that per capita, around $984.74 was spend in Victoria in 2018-2019 (not counting racing). It’s hard to tell exactly how many Victorians are engaged in gambling, but some gambling websites claim that over 80 per cent of Australians are involved in gambling activities, which would indicate that perhaps well over $1,000 is spent each year on gambling per active gambler.Naturally, some Australians with more disposable income or a heavy addiction to gambling will end up spending considerably more.Most in society would probably agree that playing a few rounds of blackjack to celebrate a wedding or other significant event are not really signs of an addiction or problematic in any way. Gambling addiction is often visible, but online gambling has made it such that addictions can go unseen for months or years at a time since one can play on their phone during the morning commute, whilst sitting on the toilet, or doing otherwise innocent activities.
Overcoming Gambling Addictions
One of the greatest difficulties with gambling addictions is that there is no physical substance that is taken to continue the addiction. Alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs are physical, tangible things. Gambling is not. Nevertheless, the triggers for the addiction almost always go deeper than the substance itself, which gambling does have in common with other addictions whereby the substance that perpetuates the addiction is real.
How Hypnotherapy Helps to Resolve Gambling Addiction
Hypnotherapy is amongst the best methods of resolving gambling addictions because it is a non-intrusive method of intervention. Instead of addressing the top layers of concern, such as the immediate symptoms such as spending money and playing games from a phone or tablet, for example, it digs deeper down into the subconscious to identify the triggers for the individual.