Gamblers at Risk and Their Help Seeking Behaviour was undertaken by the Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University.
The aim of the study was to examine, identify and analyse gambler's formal and informal help seeking behaviour. 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.
The stigma and shame felt by people with a gambling problem, along with the secrecy surrounding the problem, creates a barrier for seeking either professional or non-professional help.
Of the four gambler risk categories (as determined by the Problem Gambling Severity Index - PGSI - of the Canadian Problem Gambling Index), 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 in their region for gambling help, 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.