Summary: One of the most significant changes to the gambling environment in the past 15 years has been the increased availability of interactive or Internet gambling. Interactive gambling, including mobile gambling, is the fastest growing mode of gambling. This paper describes how and why Australians choose to gamble interactively.It will consider how interactive gambling differs from traditional land-based options and the differences between gamblers who do and do not gamble interactively. The discussion paper focuses on concerns regarding interactive gambling, including the risks it poses, particularly in terms of problem gambling.
Interactive gambling is increasing in popularity with intensive marketing being used to encourage greater use of this mode of gambling.
Sports and race wagering are the dominant forms of interactive gambling in Australia and interactive gamblers are more likely to be younger males.
Most online gambling occurs on home computers, but the popularity of mobile technologies is increasing, allowing Australians to gamble at any time, from any place.
Interactive gamblers tend to be more intensely involved in gambling than their land-based counterparts and more likely to experience gambling issues.
Harm reduction may be achieved through initiatives such as regulated gambling sites, community education about the risks of interactive gambling, specialised treatment and prevention programs, and improved understanding of the impact of new technologies on gambling behaviour.