NSW To Solve Problem Gambling With Technology
Problem gambling has turned out to be a serious problem faced by most countries that have legalized gambling. Australia and The United Kingdom have troubling stats when it comes to problem gambling.
Most local governments try to face it head-on with legislation but the state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has decided to deal with it via technology. The state government has started offering grants of up to $400,000 to companies to help develop technology that will lessen the harm of gambling.
The Office for Responsible Gambling for New South Wales is looking for projects that use technology to ensure that people get properly educated about responsible gambling and the difficulties of problem gambling. There are two grants available for such projects. One grant is small, set at $100,000 while the large grant is set at $400,000.
Both grants are aimed at projects that use technology to deal with problem gambling. This could mean the use of online tools or mobile apps to help gamblers control their urges. There have also been suggestions on using Virtual Reality and other immersive technologies to properly educate gamblers on the consequences of too much gambling. Other tech solutions are also being considered.
The plan is to have several large grants for multi-year projects be released while smaller grants would be released to programs that will have more immediate results. Those who apply now will be notified whether they will get a grant in the second quarter of 2019.
NSW’s Gambling Problems
NSW is turning to tech solutions since it is facing a potential gambling addiction epidemic. As of June 2018, 55 percent of its residents were involved in gambling of some form. Most of them are focused on lotteries and scratch tickets but pokie machines are close behind.
NSW has benefited from this increased gambling market, with $9.53 billion being spent in 2016 and 2017 alone. That is 40 percent of Australia’s total gambling spending. From these, $2 billion goes to the state’s coffers as gambling taxes. That number will grow even more this year as a new tax on online gambling is implemented.
However, this puts a lot of citizens at risk. In 2012, it was estimated that 12 percent of NSW residents are in danger of becoming addicted to gambling. Problem gamblers were estimated to be at less than one percent of the population. However, with more than 95,000 pokie machines in NSW, the numbers have increased and the government is now looking to deal with the issue before it surges out of control.