The House Edge is the mathematical advantage that the commercial gambling game has over you as you play over time. It means an assured percentage return to the venue over time, and for you, an assured loss.
What are your odds of winning? In most games you’ll always have to bet more over time to win a major prize than the actual prize is worth. You might win small prizes like a $5 scratchie win, but how much have you already paid for the win?
Many people play who poker machines, Keno, lotteries and other games of chance think they can influence their chances of winning, by using ‘systems’, acting on a ‘hunch’, thinking ‘positively’ or looking for what they think are ‘lucky’ signs.
Nothing can change the odds of you winning, either in the short term or long term. Whether or not you win playing a game of chance is based solely on the randomly drawn numbers generated by the machine’s computer.
Visit our House Edge page to find out more!
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...to one. The odds of winning Tattslotto First Division (getting all 6 numbers correct).
Number of poker machines in Tasmania (February 2015).
Approximate number of Australians who are at risk of becoming, or are, problem gamblers.
A great website from Victoria with heaps of info and interactive tools.
For doctors and other health professionals with clients with gambling problems.
What’s the Real Deal? is a great resource for wanting to teach students about the risks of gambling, and how gambling works.
The Tasmanian Gambling Exclusion Scheme helps people ban themselves from gambling venues.
For the latest statistics and research about gambling in Tasmania.
It may be convenient, but there are risks…
O Online gambling is becoming very popular. With the internet and mobile phones it’s now possible to make a bet from anywhere at any time. Sounds convenient, but there are risks too, and not just problem gambling.
Off shore online casinos and poker sites are not regulated by Australian law and are not allowed to operate in Australia.
So where’s the risk in that? Firstly if the sites aren’t regulated there’s no guarantee they’ll pay. There have been stories of online gamblers winning, but not being able to collect their prize. There are additional risks of credit card fraud. Do you trust the operator with your credit card information? Can you find any ‘return to player’ information on the site? Do you know what country the site is operating from?
Nicki Dowling, PhD, MAPS Senior Research Fellow, Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre, University of Melbourne, is an expert in gambling research. She says there are many other dangers associated with online gambling, including even the legal sites:
“Research indicates that motivations for online gambling include:
- Convenience (gambling opportunities being accessible at any time of the day with minimal effort), comfort (gambling from the comfort of one’s own home), and ease (sites and games being easy to find, join, and play).
- Aversion to the atmosphere and clientele of land-based venues (e.g., more privacy, an aversion to smoke, an aversion to noise, an aversion to crowded environments, and physical safety).
- Preference for the pace and nature of online gambling (e.g., smaller intervals between bets, instant wins, more diversity in games, graphics and interactivity, fewer distractions, ability to multi-task, playing multiple games, increased anonymity, and trial and demonstration games).
Online gamblers also often develop a skill perspective on demonstration games to learn how to play; then go to gambling versions of games with lower odds.”
These factors can contribute to a gambler’s tendency to let their gambling get out of control and bet more than they can afford. Added to this are the common misunderstandings amongst gamblers of how the House Edge is built into gambling games and gives the gambling provider an advantage.
Note: Australian online wagering sites like TOTE and Betfair are regulated and therefore subject to Australian licensing laws. See the ABC News team’s coverage of online gambling here.