EXCESSIVE GAMBLING in Australia
Good morning/ afternoon Pastor xxx and fellow classmates. Today I would like to talk to you about the topic- excessive gambling.
During my talk, I will be covering the following areas:
1.What is gambling?
2.What is excessive gambling?
3.Reasons for excessive gambling + statistics on excessive gambling in Australia.
4.The problems of excessive gambling.
5.How to stop excessive gambling
6.Opinions on gambling from different point of views.
To my first point, "what is gambling?" Now days, gambling is a rapidly growing industry. The term "gambling" is defined in the dictionary as- to play a game in which a person can risk losing something, especially money. Some forms of gambling include; lotteries, casinos, social gambling, wagering on races, sports betting or even Internet gambling. If someone who did not gamble was asked whether gambling was good or bad, the person would probably say "No."
In fact, gambling is not necessarily bad and is considered as a form of entertainment because it is often enjoyable. It is only when gambling gets out control and starts to cause serious problems on people's lives.
"What is excessive gambling?" Excessive gambling is about spending time, money and energy in a way that is harmful to the gambler. It may also be hurting to others such as- the gambler's family and friends. This type of gambling also refers to the spending of more money than was first intended and then returning later in an attempt to win the money lost in the past.
Some of the reasons that people gamble are:
*TO WIN BIG- Most gamblers think a big win will solve financial and other problems in their lives. These gamblers keep 'chasing the illusion' of winning, which results in the loss of more money.
*FOR SOMETHING TO DO- It is acceptable for a person to gamble occasionally. It only becomes a dilemma when gambling is regarded as a first priority and dominates over most of a person's time.
*FOR EXCITEMENT or FUN-SEEKING- There are some people who like to gamble because of the exciting atmosphere and the high risks involved. However, people who gamble for excitement are more prone to lose control of their money.
*TO FORGET TROUBLES (procrastination) - Gambling may serve as a relaxing activity to some people who want to leave the everyday pressures and stress of reality.
*TO GAIN SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE- Some people gamble so that they can feel accepted into a social group.
Did you know, according to statistics, Australians are the heaviest gamblers in the world? They lose twice more the amount of money of gamblers in North America and Europe. It is revealed that 82% of all adult Australians gamble- of which 40% gamble regularly. For most people this is harmless enjoyment...but 2.3% (or 330,000) of Australian gamblers have serious gambling problems. These gamblers lose on average $12,000 per year compared to the more responsible gamblers who lose $625 per year.
There are so many more gambling problems in Australia than other countries of the world. This may be because the government is allowing increasing gambling business to operate in Australia.
It is shown that in Australia, there are over 7,000 businesses that provide gambling services, 2785 pubs, 2419 clubs and also 13 casinos and other lottery services. An interesting fact is that Australia owns about 180,000 electronic gaming machines, which equals up to about 21% of the world's total. People are able to spend their money on gambling because of the wide range of services provided. It is estimated that in this country, the gambling turnover (or the amount of money spent) is more than $80 billion every year.
There are numerous ways in which an excessive gambler can try to stop their addiction problems. Financial counselling and other services such as the "Break Even" program are helping many gamblers regain control of the ways that their money is spent. Some steps that excessive gamblers can take to prevent themselves from wasting money are abstinence or controlled gambling. Abstinence is a term that describes a method of quitting gambling altogether. If gamblers are finding it hard to stick to their own limits, it is much easier to quit so they will not be tempted again in the future. Gamblers can abstain themselves by avoiding all forms of gambling and related activities. Another effective way is to take the option to be voluntarily banned or excluded from casinos and other gambling venues.
An excessive gambler who does not want to totally quit gambling can choose the option of controlled gambling. These gamblers can refer to services alike Gambling Anonymous which can help the gamblers plan their money wisely. Gamblers can even help themselves by recording their personal behaviour that helps them keeps track of all wins and losses.
If all this procedures are taken, gamblers will have a greater chance to control their use of money, or even better, to completely remove gambling from their lifestyles.
Although the Bible does not state much about gambling, there are a few verses that describe the greed and evil of people who want to get rich. In 1 Timothy 6:9-10 it says, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." These verses tell of how money can be bad when people are too eager and do bad things in order to obtain it. My view of gambling is that, also it can be fun for some people, we all need to consider about how we spend our money and most importantly- to use it wisely and not for immoral purposes.
Sachar, D (2000). Compulsive Gamblers- The Tragic Results. Montville: The Oracle Press.
Booklet: Authors Known
Lobsinger, C and Beckett, L (1996). Odds to Break Even- a practical approach to gambling awareness. Relationships Australia (QLD) Inc.
Booklet: Authors Known
Lobsinger, C and Beckett, L and Fittell, L (1995). Working with Excessive Gambling. Relationships Australia (QLD) Inc.
Booklet: Author Unknown
Information on Problem Gambling. Relationships Australia (QLD) Inc.
Pamphlet: Author Unknown
excessive gambling hurts (Break Even- service for gamblers and their families). Relationships Australia (QLD) Inc.