Early gambling ‘normalises’ practice, says CQUni professor
IT is one of the biggest betting events on the Australian sporting calendar, but it could be doing more harm than good.
As punters around the national place their bets today, CQUniversity gambling researcher Associate Professor Matthew Rockloff will be shaking his head.
Prof Rockloff is concerned the amount of gambling advertising during sports broadcasts and school-based Melbourne Cup activities normalises gambling among children and has the potential to encourage involvement in gambling in later life.
Prof. Rockloff, who runs CQUniversity's Experimental Gambling Laboratory, said the above factors could make "having a punt" seem normal and harmless.
He said while regular participation in gambling was not high among the under-18s, youth gambling problems were more than two times higher than adults'.
Prof Rockloff said most young adults with gambling problems learned it before they were 18, through listening to messages in advertising and watching the behaviour of their parents and older role models.
"I'm not anti-Melbourne Cup (or gambling for that matter), but there's good evidence to suggest that gambling or betting activities of any kind should be an adults-only activity," Rocklock said.