Removing easy access to cash has also been identified as an important harm-reduction intervention. However, each high-risk gambler affects six others; each moderate-risk gambler affects three others; and each low-risk gambler one other. These are children, spouses, other relatives, friends, employers, the general community via the costs of crime, and so on. Based on census data, this equates to about 8,000 South Australians experiencing severe harm from gambling. So, the problems of each high-risk gambler affect another 47,660 South Australians. Another 33,100 are experiencing significant harm, and about 94,000 are experiencing some harm. All up, this amounts to 241,000 people. The most recent study, from 2012 indicates that 0.6% of the SA adult population is classified as at high risk of gambling harm, 2.5% are classified as at moderate risk, and another 7.1% at low risk. The harms associated with gambling generally affect far more people than just the gambler. Another 99,300 are affected by moderate-risk gambling, and another 94,000 by low-risk gambling.
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Of these, 190,000 are affected at high or significant levels. Economic costs are far in excess of the benefits. It is remarkable that a party traditionally in lockstep with -. They argue gambling’s social. This is more than four times the total taxes from gambling the South Australian government derived in 2015-16 ($380.3 million). For Tasmania, the costs of gambling can be estimated at about $342 million per year. These harms include financial disaster and bankruptcy, divorce or separation, neglect of children, intimate partner violence and other violent crime, crimes against property, mental and physical ill-health, and in some cases, suicide. Most gambling problems (around 75%) are related to pokies, and by far the greatest expenditure goes through them. Does it go far enough? Perhaps the harms have become too much to ignore? However, Tasmanian Labor has set the new benchmark for pokie regulation - removing them entirely from pubs and clubs. This is more than three times as much as the total tax take from all gambling in the state. Substantially supported by - the gambling industry has adopted such a position. With a cost-benefit ratio like that, some strong measures could well be called for. A similar calculation for South Australia suggests its overall costs of problem gambling are more than $1.6 billion per year. The South Australian Greens, like their counterparts in Tasmania and the Tasmanian Labor Party, want to get all pokies out of pubs and clubs. Xenophon says the proposals encapsulated in his party’s policy are the start. In this context, SA-Best’s policy has substantial justification.
The policy has attracted the expected response from the gambling industry. Reducing access to pokies is also an important intervention, since easy access is a key risk factor for developing a gambling problem. This in turn reduces the harm they suffer. The Australian Hotels Association argued the changes would “rip the guts” out of the gambling industry and attack the “26,000 jobs” it claims the industry directly creates. Does evidence support SA Best’s policies? However, very substantial cuts in pokie numbers are needed to meaningfully reduce harm. Reducing the number of machines, and the hours they are accessible, support this. This is because pokies are rarely fully utilised at all times of the week. Reducing maximum prizes reduces “volatility”, meaning pokies may have more consistent loss rates. A cut of the magnitude SA-Best proposes may not be sufficient to prevent those with serious gambling habits from readily accessing pokies. We’ve known for some time that reducing maximum bets is likely to reduce the amount wagered by people experiencing severe gambling problems.
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