Will removal of immediate ATM access influence gambling habits?

15 March, 2012

A study is underway to determine the effectiveness of Victorian legislation that will lead to the removal of ATMs from most gambling venues with poker machines.

The study is being conducted by Swinburne University of Technology and is funded by the Department of Justice, Victoria.

"While gambling provides a valid source of entertainment for many people, there are a proportion of people who gamble in such a way as to cause problems for themselves, their families and others in the community," said Dr Anna Thomas.
"Research has found that people who experience gambling problems are much more likely to make multiple withdrawals from an ATM in a gaming venue. 
"This can lead them to lose much more money than they planned and can increase their feelings of anxiety, stress and depression."
The state government hopes that the legislation, to come into effect July 1, will help people to control their gambling spending by making it more difficult for them to access money close to poker machines.
The researchers are looking for people who visit clubs, pubs or the casino in Victoria to take part in the study to evaluate how effective the removal of ATMs is at helping people control their spending at gaming venues.
"Participation involves completing a short survey about visiting different venues, gambling patterns and how you access money for visits," Dr Thomas said.
"The survey will be repeated later in the year after ATMs have been removed from venues to see if there has been any change in the way you visit venues or how you access money for your visits."
Participation in this research is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has visited a Victorian venue with pokies in the last 12 months, regardless of whether or not they gamble.