Home > The lived experience of financial harm from gambling in Australia.

Marko, Sarah and Thomas, Samantha L and Pitt, Hannah and Daube, Mike (2023) The lived experience of financial harm from gambling in Australia. Health Promotion International, 38, (3), https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daad062.

External website: https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/38/3/daad0...

The financial consequences associated with harmful gambling create significant health and social stressors for individuals, their families, and communities. However, there has been limited research exploring how people impacted by gambling harm conceptualise and experience the financial impacts on their lives. To help fill this gap, this study used in-depth qualitative interviews with gamblers harmed by their own gambling and affected others harmed by someone else's gambling. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to interpret the data. The study had three key findings. First, prior to experiencing harm, gamblers and affected others did not consider the financial risks associated with gambling and only recognised the risks once the financial losses negatively impacted other areas of their lives. Second, gamblers and affected others managed the day-to-day financial impacts of gambling by adjusting their financial priorities, reducing spending in other areas, or accruing debt. Finally, the financial impacts of gambling and the associated financial management strategies led to broader and long-term problems for gamblers and affected others. This study demonstrates that financial harms from gambling are complex and contribute to the stigmatisation of people who experience harm. Current educational messages and tools simplify this complex issue and may legitimise gambling as a leisure activity which can be managed by making 'responsible' financial decisions. Public health and health promotion initiatives must recognise this complexity, developing approaches that are independent from the gambling industry and informed by lived experience.

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