Concerns Grow over Problem Gambling and Suicide Risks among Veterans

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Research indicates that the risk of suicide is alarmingly high among former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). According to InSightPlus, around 83% of verified suicide deaths in Australia involve ex-military personnel. When compared to the general population, male veterans face a 27% higher risk of suicide, while for female veterans, the risk is a staggering 107% higher.

Link Found between Veterans and Gambling Problems

The Transition and Wellbeing Research Program, Australia’s most extensive survey focused on veterans transitioning to civilian life, shed light on the issue. Researchers identified several contributing factors to poor mental health among veterans, including pre-existing conditions and challenges in adapting to life outside the military.

The study also found a troubling link between veterans and gambling problems. Over 13% of veterans reported varying degrees of gambling issues, often related to trauma, depression, and symptoms of PTSD. However, most of these veterans sought help for anxiety or depression, not explicitly for gambling issues.

The study also found a significant correlation between gambling addiction and suicidal tendencies among veterans. While the research couldn’t establish a direct cause, it emphasized the complex factors contributing to suicide risk. This has led to urgent calls for better gaming regulations, including proposals for stricter rules and even a complete ban on gambling advertising, similar to anti-tobacco campaigns.

Regulatory Steps and Future Directions

Liquor & Gaming New South Wales (L&G NSW) is one regulatory body taking stringent action against illegal gambling advertising. Their approach includes heavy penalties and court prosecutions, making New South Wales a leading jurisdiction in gambling regulation. Moreover, the state is exploring cashless solutions to enhance player safety and prevent money laundering.

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