Public perceptions of harm for nine popular gambling products

Leon Booth, Annie S. Anderson, Victoria White, Hannah Pierce, Rob Moodie, Simone Pettigrew (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


Gambling causes significant levels of harm globally and is recognised as a serious public health issue. To reduce gambling-related harm, various strategies and policies have been recommended, including decreasing the availability of gambling products, restricting gambling advertising, and implementing public education campaigns. Government willingness to implement such strategies will be influenced by levels of public support, which in turn will be dependent on public perceptions of the harm caused by gambling products. The aim of the present study was to assess public perceptions of the harm associated with individual gambling products to inform future gambling reform. A sample of 2112 Australian adults provided perceived harm ratings for nine popular gambling products that are known to be associated with gambling-related harm: electronic gambling machines, casino table games, sports betting, bingo, scratch tickets, private betting, horse/dog races, keno, and the lottery. Binary logistic regressions were used to identify factors associated with harm perceptions. Only electronic gambling machines (70%), casino table games (64%), betting on horse/dog races (59%), and sports betting (53%) were perceived by a majority of respondents as being harmful. Less frequent gambling and experiencing greater levels of gambling-related harm were associated with higher harm perceptions. Many potentially harmful gambling products may not be recognised as such by the public, which is likely to reduce support for recommended harm-reduction strategies and policies. Efforts are needed to ensure Australians in general and gamblers in particular understand the levels of harm associated with popular gambling products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1126
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Early online date26 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Gambling
  • Harm perceptions
  • Prevention
  • Problem gambling
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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