Harms from Gambling: Who pays the price, and how much is it?

May 23, 2018

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will be held next week over Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May at the QT Gold Coast.

Professor Matthew Rockloff, Head of the Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory at Central Queensland University joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘Harms from Gambling: Who pays the price, and how much is it?’.

Professor Matthew Rockloff


The harms that people experience due to gambling are diffuse and idiosyncratic. Major categories of harm from gambling include: financial problems, relationship dysfunction, emotional distress, physical health problems, cultural harm, reduced work or study performance, and criminal consequences. However, each person is likely to be affected by gambling differently.

A research program at University has documented 72 unique harms impacting on people’s quality of life, and evaluated the scope and scale of harm in Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. The findings revealed that problem gamblers on average suffer from a level of harm similar to people with alcohol abuse disorder. Paradoxically, the group of gamblers who have the fewest problems, the so-called low-risk gamblers, suffer the greatest harm in aggregate due to the large size of this group. Lastly, gambling problems are estimated to be a serious population-health issue, with population-level harms at nearly 70% of the level for major-depression and alcohol abuse disorder.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER Prof. Matthew Rockloff received a Ph.D. in psychology from Florida Atlantic University in 1999. He completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Nevada, Reno, and has been employed as a lecturer at University since 2001. He has been honoured as a Jack Walker Scholar and twice as an Aurel B. Newell Fellow. Dr Rockloff was named in the Top 10 Unijobs Lecturer of the Year Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014. His research has focused on social and psychological risk factors in the development of gambling problems. In 2017, Dr Rockloff received the Ig Noble Prize in Economics for experiments to see how contact with live crocodiles affects a person’s willingness to gamble.

For more information and to secure your last minute spot please visit the conference website.



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