Video #1: Why Do People Gamble?
Playing or watching games, like cards, video games or sport can be great fun. They can bring people together, get people talking about who is the best, teach skills and help share stories, culture and laughter.
When we play those same games with money, and we bet on the outcome of a game then it is called gambling. Playing or watching games or sports and then betting on the outcome of the game with money (or other things of value) is called gambling. It can be very exciting to be watching or playing a game where a lot of money can be won.
Gambling may bring good things to people and their communities, like money, jobs and sports, making them stronger. But, too much gambling may take away what makes people and communities strong. Most people in Australia gamble. There are some people who don’t gamble at all. About half of all the people who do gamble, gamble a lot.
The Law Story with Gambling?
In Australia ALL gambling is against the law unless you have a gaming license. Anything against the law is called “illegal”. Gambling laws were made by the government to protect the Australian community because of the many crimes that were linked to gambling. But, many people in Australia still wanted to gamble. So, the government decided they would allow businesses (like clubs, pubs, TAB’s and casinos) to apply to the government for a gambling license to make money from gambling - as long as they followed certain rules. These gambling businesses are called “regulated gambling venues” (regulated means controlled). They were allowed by law, made “legal” by their license, as long as they followed rules to make sure their gambling games were fair to players and allowed the government to observe and control their activities. Licensed gambling venues include these activities:
These controlled gambling venues run as a money-making business and under Australian law, all have to pay tax to the government. When a business first applies to the government to make money as a controlled gambling venue, they have to agree to:
If the venue doesn’t, anyone in the community can make a complaint and they will be investigated by the government and may lose their gaming license. In the NT, regulated gambling venues protect the community and keep their gaming license by following the rules set out in a booklet called the NT Code of Practice.
A copy of the NT Code of Practice can be found at the following website:
Some gambling games, like card games, are illegal because they happen without government protection rules, laws or a gaming license. It is called “unregulated gambling”. This type of gambling does not pay any tax to the government and only the people who organise and play the games know when the game happens. People often play this type of gambling for fun and relaxation with friends and family. Only social and kinship rules protect people from possible trouble with these games. These games may include:
Video #2: What To Do Before Gambling
The Money Story with Gambling
The government has laws that tell regulated gambling venues how much they have to give back to the community, called “community benefit”. This money only comes from gamblers who play poker machines in hotels in the NT. The money is sent to the government and kept in a Community Benefit Fund (CBF). Community groups can ask for money from the CBF to help fund programs or services to help build stronger communities, such as health or sports activities. For example, Amity Community Services asked for money from the Community Benefit Fund to run their Gambling Education Program. Clubs and casinos also give back to the community in different ways and in different amounts. For example, clubs may offer help to local sporting teams. Casinos may support organisations and charities in the community in different ways. Some regulated gambling venues give more back to the community than others.
Regulated gambling venues also have to follow the law by paying tax to the government. The government makes a lot of money from regulated gambling. Some governments in Australia rely a lot on gambling money to run their government. So, people who gamble a lot in gambling venues are some of the biggest tax payers in Australia.
The money that is left in a gambling venue, after community benefit and tax has been paid, goes to the owners of the business. They decide where that money is spent. For example, business owners decide how much goes back into the business for things like staff wages, new buildings or renovations, and where and how much they wish to help their local community. All this money comes from people who gamble in regulated gambling venues. Some of the owners of these businesses live outside Australia and that money is never spent in Australia.
Why do people like to gamble?
There are many reasons why people gamble and everyone has a different story. Some common reasons are:
Why people might stop or slow down their gambling?
Some people who gamble a lot, or spend almost all their money, may end up with problems. They may spend so much time gambling that they stop doing what keeps them strong in mind, spirit and culture. After a while, they might think gambling is the only thing they want to do. They might often gamble on their own and try to keep away from their family. They might lie or keep secrets about how much money they have spent or where they have been. They might blame other people for the money they lose. They might blame it on bad luck or the poker machine if they do not win. They might steal and cheat to get more money and have big money worries. These people may start to feel lost. They may forget the way to be strong. They may have lots of worries (or problems) because they are thinking about or gambling so much. They may be called a “problem gambler”. Some problems a gambler might have are:
Do you know people who are worried about gambling? Talk to your family and friends and do the things that make you strong again. Find out here if you may need help.
Video #3: Famillies and Gambling
Many people think that they can do things or think things that might change their luck and make them win, like;
Some people think that kids are lucky and will improve their chances of winning at card games. People sometimes continue to think these things even when they often lose all their money. This is tricky thinking because we want to think we can win even when we are losing. Thinking or doing these things will NOT help change your luck about winning! The only thing that changes your luck is knowledge or skills. Some games don’t have either of these – like poker machines.
Poker machines (also called “Electronic Gaming Machines” or EGM’s) are made by big businesses and sold to regulated gambling venues (eg. Pubs, clubs & casinos) so they can all make money. They are so good at making money for the business that most clubs and pubs try to get a gaming license. They are so good at making money for gambling venues in the NT that the government has had to protect the community from spending too much money on them by setting a limit on how many are available.
A poker machine is a video game run by a computer for money. When you sit down to play, this computer game uses your money to entertain you and tries to keep you interested in winning a big amount of money. This game does not need any special knowledge or skill to play. Most people only win small amounts of money. They sometimes spend a lot of money to try and get back only a little bit. For example, some people may have won $3000 in one year, but they may have lost their whole pay in one year to get this ($30,000).
It is very difficult to win the jackpot. Being able to win at this game is like finding five white specks of dust, in one go, flying around in a big dust storm. Pretty hard. But the game keeps you interested, and spending money, in the hope of a possible win through its music, moving reels, lights, giving you free spins (you have already paid for them) and special features that make you think you ALMOST won. No one knows when the big jackpot comes – not even the people who made the machine. It is all up to the computer. The computer does not care whether you are playing or not. It is a machine. It just keeps doing its job – which is making an interesting game. So, there is nothing you can do to change your luck with the computer.
Learn more about gaming machines.
Find out more about Poker Machine related harm.
Video #4: Does Gambling Cause Fights?
Ways to reduce troubles related to gambling
Click here for a Self Help Guide to managing your problem gambling
Helping people with gambling worries
Someone who wants to stop gambling or their family who are worried about them may talk to you. If they do:
Find out where to get help for problem gambling.
Video #5: Gambling Humbug