Inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm
Online gambling participation has increased exponentially over the past few years and the true extent of its impacts and reach are still being fully understood. However, the evidence available shows significant gambling harm being experienced online by young people and vulnerable community groups with a significant increase in online wagering companies profits over the past few years.
Gavin Fineff lost everything to online sports betting. His story is something every Australian should know about. No one should have to endure this level of loss, guilt and heartache. Sign the petition to support Andrew Wilkie’s bill - Making Gambling Businesses Accountable 2022 - sending a strong message to our political leaders that if this Bill were passed, we could ensure that gambling companies no longer profit from the proceeds of crime or predatory practices that take advantage of gambling addiction. READ MORE about Gavin's story below.
"Gambling has changed enormously with mobile phones giving opportunities to gamble online
almost anywhere and at any time. It is fast betting, fast losses, fast money transfers… Repeat."
“Gavin Fineff’s story is something every Australian should know about…” Tim Costello, Chief Advocate Alliance for Gambling Reform
You can read about his gambling experiences below or A gambler had his betting account frozen after losing
millions ABC News, published on 9 Jul 2022 and It’s like a drug dealer handing out free heroin… The Sydney Morning Herald, published on 25 Oct 2022
I accept my punishment. I can't accept the destruction continuing. Every day, more people are being hurt. Families, community services, the courts and the public are all picking up the cost.
cost of gambling harm
My name is Gavin Fineff. In March 2020 I came forward to my wife, my employer, my family, my wife’s family, and the innocent people whose money I lost. The full-body pain is indescribable and landed me in the psychiatric department. I had never hurt anyone in my life, always a good person, but I severely hurt people I loved and cared for. I lost my career and couldn't provide for my wife and children, became bankrupt, lost relationships, had conversations with my children no parent should and I will soon be in full-time custody.
With all my heart, I beg you to listen when I tell you that a person with gambling disorder will cause destruction to family and bystanders if not stopped. Gambling online is invisible to family, friends, and colleagues. The individual has no slurred speech or loss of coordination – appearing normally on a phone as if sending a text message, paying a bill, or reading an article. Online gambling activity is witnessed only by operators and they ignore the red-flags. In fact in my case they saw red flags and thought green light, giving me millions of dollars to continue gambling.
Online gambling is dramatically escalating. I am scared because a pipe-line for new customers with gambling disorder exists and it starts early. A teacher friend told me recently that during a language exercise, she asked her year 4 student to put each of the prescribed words into a sentence, when it got to the word “tips”, the young child said “she forgot to put her tips on”. These children and other vulnerable people are being set up to potentially develop a gambling disorder and if that happens, just so much hurt follows.
Millions of innocent Australians have been hurt from the destruction of a gambling addict; in their delusion they thought they were making something better, but in reality, making something far worse which is our collective shame.
'I accept my punishment. I can't accept the destruction continuing. Every day, more people are being hurt. Families, community services, the courts and the public are all picking up the cost. Story after story, destruction after destruction, depression and death, it goes on and on and on. It must stop and it can! I want nothing, only prevention. If you have any feeling at all toward my gambling experience and the people I hurt, please act. Please do not risk you or someone you care about going through such terrible suffering.
Inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm submission
from Mr Gavin Fineff
Betting agencies accused of turning a blind eye to spiraling losses of problem gamblers | 7.30
STAND TOGETHER WITH GAVIN
“Australians are the biggest losers in the world when it comes to gambling; online gambling is a growing concern which needs to be addressed and this inquiry will begin this process”
“I get stopped on the street every day by parents who tell me they are worried about how exposed their children are to gambling, specifically online and sports gambling and the relentless advertising.”
The Alliance for Gambling Reform Chief Advocate
AUSTRALIANS SPENT $37.4 BILLION
ON RACING AND SPORTS GAMBLING
Online sports betting is an increasingly big business. Its marketing frames it as a social activity and its advertising is unavoidable. But how much does it make? And can it lead to dangerous addiction? Listen to ABC RN by Kate Macdonal, Producer
Gavin Fineff, former online gambler and financial adviser.
Charles Livingstone, Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.
Samantha Thomas, Professor of Public Health, Deakin University.
Alex Russell, Associate Professor and Principle Research Fellow at CQUniversity in the Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory.