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Gambling expert calls for health warning signs in apps

One of Australia’s leading gambling experts, Rebecca Jenkinson, is suggesting that health warning signs be embedded in gambling apps just like cigarettes packages.

This according to him will reduce compulsive gambling and prevent harm. According to research, most young men gradually get addicted to sports betting within 12 months of placing their first bet. Most of them also pick up this habit while in high school.

Jenkinson, who is with the Australian Gambling Research Centre, spoke at a Geelong gambling forum, saying sports betting has gained root in Australian culture to the extent that many young men bet on about nine sports regularly.

This according to her would need swift intervention and drastic measures from government and public health bodies. She suggested the introduction of gambling warnings to prevent gambling associated harms.

Dr Jenkinson, who is also the co-author of the Australia’s maiden specialist report into the prevalence of sports gambling among young men, said the growth of sports betting was frightening and more study needs to be undertaken.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the normalisation of sports betting in Australia and a lot about the wagering promotion and ads,” she said.

“But there were real gaps in knowledge. This pa¬per is really a preliminary exploratory study to look at what young men are doing and what their attitudes to sports betting are.”

The report delved into the activities of young men, sports and betting analysis, how, why and when young men in Australia gamble. It found that about a quarter of the bettors were under 18 when making their first bet.

Some better said they placed bets on six different sports, especially on AFL, in the previous 12 months, while 64 per cent of them revealed they were under the influence of alcohol when placing their first bet.

“What we did see was that sports betting was normalised in this group of participants,” Dr Jenkinson said.

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