Effectiveness of a 60-minute mandatory break in play
Taking breaks in play is an accepted gambling harm mitigation strategy, providing time away from the betting zone and a moment to reflect on whether to continue. However, there is limited research on its effectiveness, or of the effect of variations in break duration.
This study of 2021 participants looked at the effectiveness of mandatory breaks imposed on people who gambled in online casinos.
The mandatory 60-minute break led to:
an increase of people who stopped depositing money, up from 27 per cent to 68 per cent
an increase in stopping entirely, up from 0.1 per cent to 45 per cent stopping after the break.
The authors suggest the breaks were effective in ending the dissociative mental state often connected to harmful gambling.
However, there was no conclusive evidence that a break had effects on gambling behaviour beyond the day it was imposed. This would suggest the most effective option would be to have at least daily mandatory breaks.
Citation: Auer, M., Griffiths, M.D. 2022. The Effect of a Mandatory Play Break on Subsequent Gambling Behavior among British Online Casino Players: A Large-Scale Real-World Study. Journal of Gambling Studies 15 March
Effects of an imposed deposit limit in online casinos
In response to a perception that the COVID-19 pandemic had increased gambling problems in the population, the Swedish government imposed a weekly deposit limit for online casino gambling. This survey of 619 customers of the state-owned gambling operator looked at the effectiveness of the intervention.
Sixty per cent of those surveyed were aware that a limit had been imposed. Of those, 39 per cent thought it had decreased their gambling, whereas 8 per cent thought their gambling had increased. A total of 23 per cent of those aware of the limit viewed the intervention negatively.
The authors conclude the intervention was limited in its effectiveness, and that it was likely undermined by the fact that deposit limits were imposed separately for each operator. For example, a person could switch to, or add, another operator to double their limit. A total of 82 per cent of respondents reported using more than one operator, most commonly another online casino.
Citation: Anders Håkansson, Andreas Sundvall and Axel Lyckberg. 2022, Effects of a National Preventive Intervention Against Potential COVID-19–Related Gambling Problems in Online Gamblers: Self-Report Survey Study JMIR Formative Research 9 March; 6(3)
The National Self-exclusion Register will allow people to ban themselves from all legal online or telephone wagering operations in Australia in one simple process. The register is currently being tested and expected to be available in mid-2022.
Ahead of its launch, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published a a range of FAQs about the register.
ACMA blocks more illegal gambling websites ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers block the following illegal offshore gambling and affiliate-marketing websites:
AU Online Casino
Australian Casino Sites
Pokies Online Casino
These sites were operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. ACMA is reminding consumers that while a service may look legitimate, it is unlikely to have the necessary customer protections.
Financial Counselling Australia: Gambling and Suicide Prevention – A roadmap for change
This January 2022 report documents a policy roundtable involving:
state and federal government
financial and therapeutic counsellors
gambling and mental health helpline operators
people with lived experience
others affected by gambling.
The purpose of the roundtable was to consider what each sector could do, and what could be done collectively to reduce gambling-related suicide.
The roadmap has been developed by Suicide Prevention Australia and Financial Counselling Australia. It identified, as a key isssue, the need to collect data that would help determine the extent of the connection between gambling and suicide. Reforms are suggested for the practices of police, coroners and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The Foundation acknowledges First Nations people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the waterways and of the land on which we live and work, and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.