Harm promotion: observations on the symbiosis between government and private industries in Australasia for the development of highly accessible gambling markets
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2010
© 2010 The Authors, Addiction © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 106, Issue 1, pages 3–8, January 2011
How to Cite
Livingstone, C. and Adams, P. J. (2011), Harm promotion: observations on the symbiosis between government and private industries in Australasia for the development of highly accessible gambling markets. Addiction, 106: 3–8. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03137.x
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2010
- Submitted 14 June 2009; initial review completed 21 August 2009; final version accepted 20 July 2010
- electronic gambling machines;
- harm reduction;
- slot machines
Aim To illustrate ways in which industry control over the gambling market and its regulatory system have enabled rapid proliferation in gambling consumption and harm.
Method To discuss the relationship between government regulation and the accessibility, marketing and technologies of electronic gambling machines in Australia and New Zealand.
Findings The regulatory framework for gambling in both countries has encouraged highly accessible, regressively distributed and heavily marketed high-impact electronic gambling machines. This framework has developed in large part through the conjunction of government revenue needs and the adaptation of a folk model of gambling appropriated by gambling businesses and engineered to incorporate a discourse that legitimates their gambling businesses.
Conclusion Governments should be encouraged to invest in ‘upstream’ public health strategies that contain the economic and social drivers for intensifying gambling consumption. One key aspect involves questioning the most suitable scale, location and marketing of gambling operations, and the reliance of government on gambling revenues (whether directly or as substitution for other government expenditure). Technological solutions to disrupt the development of obsessive gambling habits are also available and are likely to reduce gambling-related harm.