Australians who have an affinity towards gambling and poker machines, in particular, continue to provide revenue to the gambling locations in the Northern Territory. Even though the economy in the region has been on the downturn in the recent twelve months and the rates of poker machines losses rose by as many as 6 percent to A$92 million, people in the region are still willing to give their luck a try.
This amount of money comes to losses sustained on all of the 1729 poker machines currently operating in various pubs and clubs across the Territory. If we have to add the amount lost on electronic gaming at the two operating casinos in the Northern Territory the amount of money will swell to A$163 million. This is a considerable amount of loss when it comes to the economy of the region, however, Nicola Coalter is not surprised at all. Ms. Coalter is a Deputy Executive of Amity Community Services and she stated recently that it is namely the economic state that drives people to gamble.
Economic Impact on the Gambling Habits of the Nation
Both gambling addiction and problem gambling thrive in times of economic instability and this is visible at the moment. The people who strive to amass money and guarantee their well-being, as well as that of their loved ones, see gambling as a financial strategy which has been tried and proven through the years. The people who experience gambling addiction usually have become addicts because of a big win earlier in their lives, which hooked them to the games of chance. This blinds them to the fact that there are risks involved with the gambling activities and they can lead to devastating consequences for the players.
Ms. Coalter also stated that the increased number of operating poker machines in the area has also influenced the leap in financial losses. According to the data listed in the annual report by the Director General of Licensing, about 318 new gaming devises have received their license for operation over the last 12 months and this equals a much easier access to the gambling facilities. This, in turn, results in a much higher risk of problems related to the financial state of the players’ families. The poor financial state or the constant complaints and attempts of the help of the people around the player can lead to bigger issues with trust and violence.
Some of the earliest signs people should be on the lookout for are strange behavior, skipping work hours in order to participate in gambling activities, numerous attempts on the ATM machines in order to withdraw more and more money. Another sign of gambling addiction might be the way too long gaming sessions which go on for more than 2 hours. The Deputy Executive also stated that a positive change in the industry will be an introduction of a cap on the number of machines like it is the case in New Zealand. Last year the Labor Government implemented this measure after the said measure was removed for two years.
Recently the Menzies School of Health Research announced a lowering in the number of adult Australians who play pokies to 23 percent in the last 12 years.