Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 19, 2022


Teenage Gambling

The Hon. C. BONAROS (15:15): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney, representing the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs in another place, a question about teenage gambling.

Leave granted.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: A new report from the Australian Institute of Family Studies has revealed that 16 and 17 year olds who play simulated games online are significantly more likely to go on and spend real money on gambling when they hit 18. The report found that teenagers who regularly play the games that don't require money, like Zynga Poker, Slotomania and Big Fish Casino, had a 40 per cent greater probability of gambling with real money when they are young adults than others their age.

It also found that online simulated gambling sites frequented by young people resemble poker machines. This comes at a time when poker machine losses in South Australia are at near record levels because, as we know, recent statistics show the government has reaped $120 million revenue windfall in 2020-21, with total gambling tax collected last year topping $320.4 million, and $769.8 million was lost through these devices in that same period, a 50 per cent, or more than $250 million, increase on the previous year and the highest since 2006. My questions to the minister are:

1. Does the government have any statistics detailing the extent of problem gambling among teenagers?

2. What proactive programs is the government pursuing to identifying and/or assist potential problem gambling for teenagers?

3. Do any funds from the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund go towards teenagers with known problem gambling?

4. If so, how much, and can the minister provide a breakdown of the funds committed to each program?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:17): I thank the honourable member for her question and her very longstanding and well-known advocacy and interest in the area of problem gambling in South Australia. I will pass on the questions to the minister in another place. I am not certain that in every area there may be either figures or the exact breakdowns the honourable member has asked for, but I will ask the minister in another place, the Hon. Andrea Michaels, that where they can be provided that it is done so, and I will bring back an answer to this place.