In this section, people talk about their experiences with and views of how gambling companies operate.
Gambling is an activity centred on winning and losing money. People who got into difficulty behaved just as they had been encouraged to do by gambling companies. Like any industry, gambling companies act to make money. However, because gambling companies make money by getting people to lose money, their profit model increases the risk of harm to consumers. This means that things that in other sectors could benefit consumers, like offers, access or new product features, were harmful instead.
People describe being encouraged to gamble by things such as the absorbing and pleasurable design of the gambling products, the constant availability and access to gambling, and the aggressive advertising and marketing strategies gambling companies use. They describe how ‘responsible gambling’ messages and tools gambling companies provided did not work against the many things these companies were doing to get people to gamble more.
Most people thought gambling could be fun and social and did not think gambling should be prohibited. What they criticise is how gambling has been allowed to develop to be more and more dangerous to players and those around them. The way the gambling industry makes money is based on getting people addicted. Addicted players were the most profitable, as any money they could get went to gambling companies. People said kind of business model damaged people and communities to make a profit. This was what should not be allowed, rather than gambling itself.
Because access to money is fundamental to gambling, people said the actions of financial services play a role in gambling harm.