Gambling research

Gambling Harm-Minimisation Measures Post 1999

An Australian overview with particular reference to the Northern Territory 


The purpose of the paper is to present an overview of the gambling harm-minimisation measures that are implemented across Australia with a view towards identifying those demonstrably effective measures that may be appropriate to the Northern Territory (NT) context.

The paper is separated into six key areas:

  • implications of the Productivity Commission’s 1999 Report
  • public health and responsible gambling
  • the gambling landscape in Australia
  • codes of practice in operation
  • harm-minimisation measures
  • a discussion of findings and key areas for further research.

While there were several recommended practices that were not widely supported across any of the different sectors, there was variation between the sectors in the practices that were adopted.

Over the last three decades the liberalisation of gambling has facilitated the emergence of a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2005-06 the total gambling turnover (the amount gambled) in Australia was over $148 billion. However, this development has not been accompanied by adequate or evaluated measures for consumer protection.

In 1999 the Productivity Commission’s report into Australia’s gambling industries represented the first comprehensive national study into the economic and social impacts of the gambling industry in Australia. This report highlighted an alarming level of problem gambling and other indirect social and economic costs. The Commission also reported a regulatory environment that was disjointed and inconsistent between jurisdictions. It identifies a need for:

  • policy which was open and developed through community and industry consultation
  • a separation between industry and government to avoid conflict of objectives and interests.

Most governments have initiated new responsible gambling practices since 1999. Responsible gambling and harm-minimisation measures have been introduced across all forms of gambling to help address the individual and social impacts of problem gambling.


For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643

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Last updated: 16 May 2016

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