Gambling is a tradition which is deeply embedded in Australian culture. Public holidays for days like the Melbourne Cup highlight the importance that we’ve placed on betting as a nation. Australians have an extremely impulsive nature which when combined with a “she’ll be right” attitude can lead us into gambling debt and a lot of financial strife.
The problem with gambling in Australia
Australian gambling losses are the highest in the world at $1,144 per resident. Gambling machines outside of casinos are the largest contributor to these losses with betting making up another large portion of gambling losses.
The betting industry is far more competitive today than it was in recent history. Today it is just about impossible watch a sports broadcast without several gambling adverts urging placing a bet on your AFL team’s game this weekend.
It’s getting easier to gamble too. You don’t even have to visit a physical location to bet with the adoption of smartphone apps. There is less time for thought between an ad telling you that betting is fun and completing that transaction via the phone you’ve just pulled out of your pocket.
Over 20% of Melbourne Cup attendees plan to use their savings or borrowed money in order to fund a bet; 7% of whom rely on luck alone and expect their winnings to fund the day.
With such a high debt of 177% of annual disposable income, Australians shouldn’t be wasting their hard-earned cash on gambling and creating more gambling debt.
In an ideal world we would cease to gamble altogether and spend money on investments or productive items like paying off a bill or putting food on the table. With a gambling culture so deeply ingrained, the best way to address these issues and stop gambling debts from having an impact on our budgets isn’t quite this simple.
Changing the mindset is the best way to reduce the impact that gambling has on our finances. If you plan to place a bet, work it into your budget rather than expecting a win to fund your budget.
Addressing frivolous, impulsive spending and turning it into a planned expenditure still lets you have fun and partake in the same activities but it will prevent you ending up in debt for a day out.
Life After Debt can help you manage debts that you’ve come into and find a manageable way to leave these debts behind. Contact Life After Debt today to arrange a consultation.
If you are or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, contact Gambling Help Online at www.gamblinghelponline.org.au or at 1800 858 858.
The figures and information for this article have been sourced from the WA Today article published on February 12, 2015 by David Wilson. You can find the original article here.