This study was undertaken by the Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University. Its aim was to examine, identify and analyse gambler's formal and informal help seeking behaviour using interviews and surveys.
The study found that there was a low overall awareness of the gambling help specific services by the respondents. Indigenous and CALD gamblers also revealed a low awareness of professional help overall. Stigma and shame about gambling problems, along with the secrecy surrounding the problem, creates a barrier for seeking either professional or non-professional help.
Of the four gambler risk categories (PGSI), problem gamblers were the least willing to use non-professional help from partners, other family members or friends. However, problem gamblers were most aware of the professional services available for gambling help in their region, with the exception of face-to-face counselling services.
For those who did seek professional help, the main motivators were serious financial, emotional and relationship issues. Interviews with recovered problem gamblers revealed that the movement of help seeking generally seemed to be a circular activity beginning and ending with self-help behaviour. There was also a strong preference for self-help as the first type of help to be used if respondents became concerned about their gambling.