Gambling is a common recreational activity in the Northern Territory (NT) with over 70 per cent of the adult population participating in some form of gambling over a 12-month period. For most gamblers it is an enjoyable recreational activity that provides them with a chance to win money and socialise. However, for others, particularly those who gamble weekly or more on continuous forms of gambling such as electronic gambling machines or pokies, it can lead to considerable harms for themselves and people close to them.
In addition to commercial forms of gambling, private card gambling (another form of continuous gambling) is a common activity in most Indigenous communities across the NT. Harms associated with card gambling are less documented though recent evidence suggests that children in houses where gambling is reported as a problem suffer from higher levels of scabies and ear infections.
Our research focus:
- To reduce harms associated with commercial and non-commercial forms of gambling in the Northern Territory (NT). We focus on policy relevant research across primary, secondary and tertiary prevention and treatments. Project are spread across a broad range of areas including gambling in Indigenous communities, screening for gambling problems in Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and service providers, monitoring Electronic Gambling Machine revenues in Northern Territory venues, and providing reliable estimates of gambling participation and problem gambling through population level surveys.
Our research impact:
- Our gambling research program provides a solid evidence-base for developing effective gambling-related policy in the NT. The program will ensure consistent surveillance of gambling-related indicators and contribute to improved clinical treatment of problem gamblers through better screening processes across service different providers. The research will ensure there is an evidence base that government and NGOs can access to ensure policy and programs remain up to date in this changing policy and program space.
- Interactive (Online) Gambling: A national study of online gambling by Australians (2019-2021)
- Talking About Gambling: Using technology to reduce gambling harm in NSW Aboriginal communities: a community health promotion randomized control trial (2019-2021)
- Exploring gamblers perceptions of harm minimisation and health promotion
- 2018 Northern Territory Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey
- Northern Territory Gambling Project: Evaluating a health promotion framework to work with Indigenous communities to reduce harm from gambling (2017-2019)
- The size and growth of the Northern Territory’s Gambling Industry
- The 2015 Northern Territory Gambling, Health and Wellbeing Survey
- A qualitative investigation of Aboriginal gambling behaviour, consequences, risk factors, and help-seeking in the Northern Territory
- Stevens, M. and Livingstone, C. (2019). Evaluating changes in electronic gambling machine policy on user losses in an Australian jurisdiction. BMC Public Health 19(1): 517.
- Flack, M., & Stevens, M. (2018). Gambling motivation: Comparisons across gender and preferred activity. International Gambling Studies, 19(1), 69-84
- Barnes, T., Stevens, M., Thoss, M. & Taylor, A. (2017) The size and growth of the Northern Territory’s Gambling Industry. Northern Institute Working Paper 08/2017. Darwin: Northern Institute and Menzies School of Health Research.
- Stevens, M., Thoss, M., & Barnes, T. (2017). 2015 Northern Territory Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey Report. Darwin: Menzies School of Health Research & the Northern Territory Government.
- Stevens, M., & Paradies, Y. (2014). Changes in exposure to ‘life stressors’ in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2002 to 2008. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 144.
- Stevens, M., & Golebiowska, K. (2013). Gambling problems amongst the CALD population of Australia: Hidden, visible or not a problem? Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 3, 1-20.
- Stevens, M., & Bailie, R. (2012). Gambling, housing conditions, community contexts and child health in remote Indigenous communities in Australia. BMC Public Health, 12, 377.
- Stevens, M., & Young, M. (2010). Independent correlates of reported gambling problems amongst Indigenous Australians. Social Indicators Research, 98(1), 147-166.
- Stevens, M., & Young, M. (2010). Who plays what? Player preferences in chance and skill-based games. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26(1), 89-103.
- Stevens, M., & Young, M. (2009). Betting on the evidence: Reported gambling problems amongst the Indigenous population of the Northern Territory. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 33(6), 556-565.
Click here to view more gambling publications in PubMed.
A report reflecting a massive increase in problem gambling in Australia’s Northern Territory has been made public following a change in the local Government’s previous refusals to publish it.
The Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey was conducted by the Menzies School of Health Research after the organisation received a $695,000 grant from the Government's Community Benefit Fund in late 2018.
Dr Matt Stevens talks to Mel Little about how the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the potential for online gambling to be cause for concern amongst public health researchers around Australia.
Dear Minister Fyles - Please see the attached letter from a group of public health researchers concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on patterns of gambling, and in particular, online gambling.
Pressure is building for poker machine venues to be closed. A number of public health and gambling experts made the call almost a week ago and yet slot machine venues remain open across Tasmania.
Gambling Research Australia (GRA) is funding a team of eminent Australian and international researchers to identify the latest trends in online/interactive gambling, particularly sports and race betting participation, in the context of broader trends in gambling behaviour.
Campus Morning Mail | The Alcohol and Drug Foundation 2019 research award goes to Menzies School of Health Research
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation 2019 research award goes to the Alcohol, Other Drugs and Gambling Team at the Menzies School of Health Research, in Darwin
Menzies School of Health Research, has won the Research Award at the 2019 National Alcohol and Other Drugs Excellence and Innovation Awards in Melbourne.
The Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Gambling (AODG) Unit at Menzies School of Health Research is leading a research project relating to Health Literacy Among Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males in the NT.
Menzies and Roy Morgan Research will conduct a survey on behalf of the NT Government to research patterns of gambling, problem gambling risk, harms from gambling and the health and wellbeing of Territorians.
ANU's Centre for Gambling is leading the three-year project, which has made its initial findings, in partnership with Amity Community Services and the Menzies School of Health Research.
The NT Gambling Project has satrted in Wurrumiyanga on the Tiwi Islands.
A study from the Menzies School of Health Research, released by the Territory Government, shows gambling participation declined significantly.
NT Government release Menzies report into gambling rates
The hundreds of communities nationwide that suffer the detrimental social and health effects of gambling and smoking will benefit from new research out of Menzies.
A study by the Menzies School of Health Research has confirmed that gambling problems in remote Indigenous communities are associated with poorer health outcomes for children.