Qualitative study reveals that habits of problem gamblers get worse over time

A qualitative study of problem gamblers who participated in The Victorian Gambling Study revealed that the habits of most problem gamblers get worse over time.

Researchers interviewed 44 problem gamblers and former problem gamblers who participated in Waves One, Two and Three, to examine their gambling habits and motivations. The study also included three case studies of more serious problem gamblers.

Key findings from The Victorian Gambling Study Qualitative Component report include:

  • Problem gamblers believed that to win big they needed to bet big.
  • The more serious gamblers prefer to play alone. 
  • Those gamblers who had other interests were less likely to get themselves into substantial financial difficulties. 
  • The biggest factor that leads problem gamblers to reduce their gambling is insufficient funds.
  • The problem gamblers who reported experiencing the most harm were those who were emotionally vulnerable or who binged.
  • Problem gamblers who played on electronic gaming machines often finished a session with very negative views of the machines, themselves and their own behaviour.
  • Shame and guilt were large barriers to admitting the existence and magnitude of the problem, and were substantial barriers to seeking assistance. 

This research was conducted by Market Access Research and Consulting (Market Access), a member of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) Research Panel.

The Victorian Gambling Study is one of only three longitudinal studies on problem gambling in the world at a general population level. It follows the same group of Victorian adults, investigating their gambling behaviour and health over a four-year period. 

Read The Victorian Gambling Study Qualitative Component


Wave Three

Qualitative Component

Wave Two

Baseline Study