December 14, 2022 3 min read


More Young Australians Attending Gamblers Anonymous Meetings

Australia is one of the countries that are notorious for having many gamblers on its territory, and they’ve been spending a lot of money on gambling. Gambling harm has a way of extending the damage to those close to its suffering, and this latest ABC report illustrates that by looking at how the demographics of GA attendees are changing.

Increase in Young Attendees Unquestionable

More and more young people are attending Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meetings, including teenagers – some even being brought to the meetings by their parents. The meetings are aimed at helping those who are at their lowest points get through their troubles but reports suggest that an increasing number of youngsters are committing suicide in their secret and quiet desperation.

A report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) cited a few of the organizers of GA meetings, who’ve chosen to remain anonymous themselves. The organizers are painting a dire picture in which even family members were not aware of their kids’ gambling addiction before it was too late.

The few papers looking into gambling-related suicide rates in Australia mostly agree that the number in indeed increasing, however, there’s a limited number of those, and the multiple confounding factors further make it difficult to get an exact estimate.

Medical professionals were also cited in ABC’s report, saying that Australia is currently at a critical point. They named gambling advertising and the nature of tuning a sports betting app’s algorithm to target the most vulnerable as key reasons to be worried and warned that gambling harm sometimes even bleeds into violent behavior.

Australia’s Gambling Problem is Complicated

Online betting has exploded around the world, with the recent global pandemic playing a crucial role in that. Medical professionals were also right to point out that advertising is also a heavily contributing factor. The increase in gambling advertising in recent years has been dramatic, and Australia is in no way an exception.

It’s important to note that even if Australians are notorious for their gambling, which some research suggests impacts their children as well. A study conducted earlier this year estimated that around 200,000 Australian children under the age of 15 might have been impacted by problem gambling, with about 60,000 of those being directly affected by gambling harm directly from within their own families.

Even more worryingly, it was at the beginning of this month when a report by the Alliance for Gambling Reform extrapolated that around 430,000 children in Australia under the age of 16 are currently gambling. Of those, 40,000 children were categorized as at-risk gamblers, while 14,400 were already showing signs of being problem gamblers.

It’s no surprise then, that the increase in gambling advertising has prompted Australian gambling regulators to pay strict attention to the messaging in these advertisements. The government decided to implement new taglines in gambling ads, designed to underline the real chance of being harmed by gambling, as well as losing a lot of money.

Some might argue that the stricter regulation of online gambling is a natural step in this line of thought, but others disagree, saying that it’s being done so aggressively, that this comes at the expense of regulating in-situ gaming.

At any rate, the increase in attendance in GA meetings by any demographic is a good sign that more people are seeking help. However, this also raises a rather worrying question – if that number has increased, is it possible the number of hidden sufferers has also increased proportionally?


Kyamil is a big tech fan, who loves hummus on everything and has enjoyed writing from a young age. From essays, through personal art, to news pieces and more serious tech analysis. In recent years he’s found fintech and gambling collide with all his interests, so he truly shares our core passion for the entire gambling scene and furthering the education of the mass citizen on these topics.

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