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Experts push for a Royal Commission into gambling in Australia

A man plays poker machines at the Knox Club. Source: AAP

Concerns are being raised about the link between mental health and problem gambling, with experts calling for extra support to help vulnerable people. The comments come as harm minimisation experts push for a Royal Commission into the gambling industry.

Australians are being encouraged to take a closer look at how gambling might be affecting their mental health.

From scratch lottery tickets to sports betting, Australia is gambling away approximately $24 billion dollars a year according to the latest national statistics, with 14 billion dollars being spent on pokies.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform Chief Advocate, the Reverend Tim Costello says Australia has the greatest gambling losses per head in the world, 30 per cent higher per capita than second-ranking Singapore.

Mr Costello also says there is a link between gambling addiction and mental ill-health.

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