It’s the race that stops the Nation. Melbourne Cup is deeply entrenched in Australian culture. It’s a day where many Australians will have place a small bet or buy a sweepstake ticket. In fact, Australians are expected to spend more than $300 million betting on the Melbourne Cup this year.

Research has identified that gambling is widespread in the Australian population with 70% of Australians report participating in some form of gambling annually, from the one-off punt on the Melbourne Cup to the habitual problem gambler at the local TAB.

As for the workplace Melbourne Cup party that many of you will attend, a small study that Fiona Nicoll conducted found that of the 23 respondents (aged between 24 and 74) most were serial attendees of Melbourne Cup Day celebrations in the workplace, 39% only ever gambled on Melbourne Cup Day sweepstakes and none described themselves as a “regular” gambler.

For most people, it is a fun and frivolous day out but for many it can lead to some serious financial losses. But if you are going to place a bet tomorrow, try to remember these tips.

  1. Limit your bets – ensure you set a boundary for how much money you will bet on Melbourne Cup Day
  2. Make it harder for yourself to access money – leave your credit cards at home and only carry a small amount of cash
  3. Expect to lose your money and only spend what you can afford
  4. Don’t borrow money from anyone to place a bet
  5. Phone apps make it easier to bet – so if betting by mobile apps or online, put some pre-set limits on your accounts before the Cup.

PHAIWA’s Director Dr Melissa Stoneham was in the media on this issue. Read the article published on PerthNow here:

Having a punt? Be careful you don’t become addicted