Low & moderate risk gamblers more likely to change risk category

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Almost 5 per cent of participants decreased their risk status from the second to the third wave. This means that they moved away from the problem gambling, moderate risk or low risk gambling categories.

Other findings of interest from Wave Three include the fact that approximately 66 per cent of problem gamblers recalled a ‘big win’ when they first started gambling. In contrast, only 13 per cent of non-problem gamblers recalled this.

Meanwhile of the 1,509 gamblers who played the pokies, nearly 40 per cent of problem gamblers in Wave Three indicated that they often or always played linked jackpots. In contrast, less than three per cent of non-problem gamblers reported playing linked jackpots always or often.

And when Wave Three non-gamblers were asked why they did not gamble, the top two reasons given were that gambling was boring (45.8 per cent of non-gamblers) and it was a waste of money (43.51 percent).

Wave Three also revealed an interesting finding about participants’ perceptions of gambling. All study participants (including non-gamblers) were asked about participation in various events (e.g. World Cup, AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, and Cox Plate).

Approximately 5.4 per cent of non-gamblers had gambled in the past 12 months, placing bets in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, despite indicating in the survey that they were not gamblers.

These early Wave Three results should be treated cautiously as a fourth and final wave of the Victorian Gambling Study is yet to be analysed.

Wave One of the Victorian Gambling Study was undertaken in late 2008 and the report A Study of Gambling in Victoria- Problem Gambling from a Public Health Perspective was published in 2009.

Wave Two was undertaken in late 2009 and early 2010. The Victorian Gambling Study- A Longitudinal Study of Gambling and Public Health Wave Two Findings was released in June 2011.

Field researchers have begun Wave Four telephone surveys, which will be completed in late January 2012.

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