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Christmas a trigger for spike in gambling - Urgent plea for Prime Minister to act on gambling reforms

20 Dec 2023

The festive season is ‘a trigger’ for a spike in gambling, increasing the financial toll and stress many families will experience this Christmas, according to the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett.

“All the research tells us gambling increases in times of economic hardship and Christmas time brings financial stress, family tension, loneliness, additional free time … all of these are triggers for gambling,” Ms Bennett said.  
“And the evidence shows those gambling more at Christmas are typically those who are experiencing greatest financial hardship. They are sold the hope they can solve all their problems with a win - it is a cruel lie that devastates too many lives.”

The Alliance is so concerned about the impact of gambling now that it has written to the Prime Minister urging him to take urgent action on gambling reform. It has also called on him to honour the amazing work of Federal Labor MP for Dunkley, Peta Murphy, a champion of gambling reform, who sadly lost her battle to cancer recently. 

“We are deeply concerned about the terrible financial, social and health impacts of gambling across Australian society today,” the letter to the PM said.
“As the Chair of the Federal Inquiry into Online Gambling and its harms, Peta worked tirelessly - even in the last days of her life - to expose the harm experienced by the community from online gambling.”


Ms Bennett said Australians lose more than $25 billion every year to gambling making us per capita the world’s biggest gambling losers.


Online gambling is the fast-growing form of gambling in Australia and it is fuelled by a tsunami of advertising that dominates our sporting events and saturates the media we consume.

More than one million gambling ads ran on free-to-air and social media between May 2022 and June 2023.

Carol Bennett and Clancy Moore are available for interview.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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