What is Responsible Gambling?

A response to the issue of problem gambling

Just about all societies have had some form of gambling throughout history and about 82% of Australian adults gamble. The vast majority gamble what they can afford without difficulty. Unfortunately about 2.1% of adult Australians have problems with their gambling. These problems are usually spending more money than they can afford or spending too much time gambling. The concept of Responsible Gambling encompasses the range of strategies developed to reduce and respond to problem gambling.

What is being done?

There are many responsible gambling measures in place for 3 main purposes:

  1. To provide information so that consumers have a better understanding of gambling and can make sensible choices about gambling
  2. To improve consumer protection for consumers who choose to participate in gambling
  3. To help problem gamblers overcome their problems.

Informed choice

Product information

Information is provided by gaming venues about the different forms of gambling they offer. Some of this information is quite detailed, some is quite general. Consumers should take the time to read this information and understand how the various gaming products work and the chances of winning.


General warnings about problem gambling alert consumers to the risk of developing a gambling problem if they participate in gambling.

Consumer protection for gamblers


All legal gambling products must go through a rigorous approval process to ensure that they comply with the law and provide a fair game.

Responsible gambling messages

Messages such as "Bet with what you can afford... not your lifestyle" encourage gamblers to be responsible.

Minors ban

Because of the risks involved with gambling, participants must be over 18 years old.

Financial controls

There are a range of financial controls which assist gaming patrons from developing gambling problems including a prohibition on the provision of credit for gambling, a requirement that large gaming machine wins be paid by cheque, a requirement that ATM machines be located outside gaming rooms.

Restrictions on promotions and inducements

Restrictions include a ban on the provision of free alcohol or free credits as an inducement to play gaming machines.


Gaming machine venues are required to provide clocks so that patrons do not lose track of time

Help for problem gamblers


Problem gambling helplines provide immediate assistance, advice, referral and telephone counselling for problem gamblers who may be experiencing a crisis. Every state and territory has a designated problem gambling helpline:

  • G-Line: 1800 633 635 (NSW)
  • Lifeline Gambling & Financial Counselling: 02 6247 0655 (ACT)
  • Gambling Help Line: 1800 222 050 (QLD)
  • Gamblers Help Line: 1800 156 789 (VIC)
  • Gambling Help Line: 1800 060 757 (SA)
  • Problem Gambling Helpline: 1800 622 112 (WA)
  • Gambling Helpline Tasmania: 1800 000 973 (TAS)
  • Amity Community Services: 1800 629 683 (NT)
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14 (National)

Problem gambling counselling

Face-to-face problem gambling counselling can assist problem gamblers overcome their gambling problem.


Self-exclusion from a gaming venue can often assist a recovering problem gambler.

Self-help groups

Gamblers Anonymous self-help groups provide mutual support and encouragement for recovering problem gamblers.

More information?

See Gambling: Promoting a Culture of Responsibility Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW June 2004

Back to Gambling Articles