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Why online gambling can be risky

With pubs, clubs and casinos being closed during COVID-19 restrictions, there has been an increase in online gambling in Victoria.

While gambling online may appeal while staying home, the risks can outweigh the thrill.

Here's why:

Not a fair game

Online gambling is growing in popularity – among punters and scammers.

This type of gambling is riskier than most, not least because a whole bunch of illegal operators are ready and waiting to take your money. Literally.

Sites may look and feel legitimate, but they don’t all comply with Australian laws or offer consumers protection.

Many customers report being unable to access winnings, having money stolen from their bank accounts, and sites ‘disappearing’ with their funds.

The odds are against you

The ads make it look like easy money. A bit of harmless fun. But when it comes to online gambling, you’re likely to lose more than you win.

In addition to financial losses, you may experience negative effects on your mood, stress levels, relationships and general wellbeing. You may drink and smoke more and your overall satisfaction with life may diminish.

It’s important to know the risks and where to get support if you’re worried about your own or someone else’s gambling.

The ‘zone’ is not a safe place

When you’re in the zone, it’s common to lose track of time and money. Not that either seem real. 

Gambling online can feel safe from the comfort of your own home. Personalised ads entice you to keep playing – a win is only a click away – and no cash changes hands.

It’s little wonder time flies and you forget that real money is being charged to your credit card or taken from your bank account so you can continue gambling.

Not every itch is worth scratching

The bottom line is that gambling doesn’t always relieve stress, but it can cause it.

If you’re feeling the urge to gamble online during the COVID-19 restrictions, you should know there are risks, and that scratching the itch may not satisfy you. It could, however, lead to further stress in what is already a difficult time for many people.

Gambling and mental health issues often go hand-in-hand. If you’re struggling, support is available.

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