Are we really a nation of gamblers?

*By Sally Gainsbury & Alex Blaszczynski The shutdown of gambling venues due to Covid-19 may have driven people at-risk of addiction to increased online gambling and experience harm, although for others it may have created a relief from the constant access of problematic pokies. As venues begin to reopen and sporting events resume, governments and stakeholders need to enact strategies to assist people to take control of their gambling now, to avoid severe harms in the future. For several months Australia’s 4,995 gambling venues housing around a total of 196,177 EGMs were shut, along keno and retail betting with few sporting matches to bet on in response to the coronavirus shutdown measures. This resulted in an unprecedented and unique reduction in accessibility of gambling in Australian history. Gambling problems are often driven by a desire to escape stress and unpleasant emotions. Gambling problems are high among people experiencing depression and anxiety and...

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