Gambling problems hit the most vulnerable the hardest, since individuals or families on a low income have few resources to buffer themselves against gambling losses. TasCOSS advocates for the strongest possible harm minimisation measures in relation to all forms of gambling, including a $1 bet limit for poker machines—the most addictive form of gambling for most low-income people with gambling problems in the state.

Facts and figures

  • More than 3,000 Tasmanians have a gambling problem.
  • Studies show that for every person with a gambling problem, another 5 to 10 people are affected. This means that the lives of approximately 27,500 Tasmanians are affected by gambling problems, including an estimated 2000 children. 
  • The costs of gambling problems in Tasmania in 2011 were estimated to fall between $51 million and $144 million.  
  • Moderate risk/problem gambling in Tasmania is highest in communities of socio-economic disadvantage. 
  • An estimated 83% of total gambling expenditure by moderate risk/problem gamblers in Tasmania is on poker machines.
  •  Some 90% of Tasmanians with gambling problems who played poker machines as well as other forms of gambling made their biggest losses on poker machines.  
  • Poker machines in Tasmania are more concentrated in communities of greater socio-economic disadvantage, and player losses per person are higher in these areas. 


For more information on this policy area, contact Wynne Russell on (03) 6231 0755 or