The prevalence and determinants of problem gambling in Australia: Assessing the impact of interactive gambling and new technologies

Sally M. Gainsbury, Alex Russell, Nerilee Hing, Robert Wood, Dan I. Lubman, Alex Blaszczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


New technology is changing the nature of gambling with interactive modes of gambling becoming putatively associated with higher rates of problem gambling. This paper presents the first nationally representative data on the prevalence and correlates of problem gambling among Australian adults since 1999 and focuses on the impact of interactive gambling. A telephone survey of 15,006 adults was conducted. Of these, 2,010 gamblers (all interactive gamblers and a randomly selected subsample of those reporting land-based gambling in the past 12 months) also completed more detailed measures of problem gambling, substance use, psychological distress, and help-seeking. Problem gambling rates among interactive gamblers were 3 times higher than for noninteractive gamblers. However, problem and moderate risk gamblers were most likely to attribute problems to electronic gaming machines and land-based gambling, suggesting that although interactive forms of gambling are associated with substantial problems, interactive gamblers experience significant harms from land-based gambling. The findings demonstrate that problem gambling remains a significant public health issue that is changing in response to new technologies, and it is important to develop strategies that minimize harms among interactive gamblers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-779
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Addiction
  • Internet gambling
  • Prevalence
  • Problem gambling
  • Public health policy
  • Risk factors

Cite this