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Gambling: how do you stay within your limits?

Addiction support organisation, Turning Point, is asking for people to have their say on what works to limit time and money spent gambling.

Many gamblers are looking for strategies to help manage their gambling, and while there is a great deal of advice available, there has been no robust research comprehensively evaluating these strategies among both recreational and problem gamblers.

Conducted by Turning Point, Southern Cross University, ANU and University of Calgary, and funded by Gambling Research Australia, this new study brings together addictions and mental health experts from Australia and around the world in order to examine the ways that people self-manage their gambling and to understand how effective these are. The study aims to develop a definitive list of strategies that work for gamblers as well as advice about implementation that can be promoted across all gambling sites.

Turning Point has compiled a list of 99 strategies representing what people naturally do to set gambling limits. These strategies range from not drinking alcohol while gambling through to taking regular breaks while gambling.

The research survey will examine the helpfulness of the strategies by asking what people currently do and whether they are effective. A follow up survey conducted 30 days later will check in on the participant’s use of these strategies.

Turning Point Research Fellow Simone Rodda said the aim of the study was to develop a definitive list of strategies that work for gamblers as well as advice about implementation that can be promoted across all gambling sites.

“If you or someone you know bets a bit or bets a lot, you are welcome to help us out,” Ms Rodda said. “We want to hear from anyone who has experience with limiting gambling, whether currently or in the past, and what strategies may have been successful.”

Developed by researchers at Turning Point as well as Southern Cross University, Australian National University and the University of Calgary, the strategies represent the bringing together of information from websites, community forums as well as those discussed in counselling and identified by a review of the literature.

Research Fellow Dr Ali Cheetham said the idea was to gather people’s experiences of self-managing their gambling.

“We are hoping to get a better understanding of the strategies that work for a wide range of gambling activities. This can include pokies, table games such as blackjack or roulette, sports betting, buying lottery tickets, or even informal betting for money such as between friends and family.”

A limited number of $30 shopping vouchers will be made available to participants who complete both surveys to thank them for their time.

To take part in the survey or for more information, visit www.turningpoint.org.au.

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