One of the most significant changes to the gambling environment in the past 15 years has been the increased availability of interactive or Internet gambling. Interactive gambling, including mobile gambling, is the fastest growing mode of gambling. This paper describes how and why Australians choose to gamble interactively. It will consider how interactive gambling differs from traditional land-based options and the differences between gamblers who do and do not gamble interactively. The discussion paper focuses on concerns regarding interactive gambling, including the risks it poses, particularly in terms of problem gambling.
The author wishes to acknowledge the valuable contributions of her colleagues who assisted with her research on interactive gambling, Professor Nerilee Hing, CGER Director, Southern Cross University, Alex Russell, CGER, Southern Cross University, Professor Alex Blaszczynski, University of Sydney, and Associate Professor Robert Wood, University of Lethbridge. The author would also like to acknowledge and thank the Menzies Foundation and Gambling Research Australia for providing funding for and commissioning research on interactive gambling in Australia.
Dr Sally Gainsbury is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Gambling Education & Research at Southern Cross University. Dr Gainsbury has led and been a co-investigator on two of the largest studies of interactive gambling in Australia. She was invited to consult with the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy in their review of the Interactive Gambling Act, and has been asked to provide expert testimony and submissions to numerous Australian state and federal inquiries into gambling as well as international government regulators. She has also assisted in the development of online responsible gambling practices, prevention strategies and treatment options for national and international stakeholders.