Gambling Intervention at Venues Trial

RCT of a brief behaviour change intervention in gambling venues.


This trial investigated the impact of an evidence-based action and coping planning intervention in Victorian gambling (pokie) venues, and examined the range of strategies that gamblers use to stick to their limits. Across 14 gaming venues, 185 gamblers were recruited and randomly assigned to receive either an action and coping planning intervention designed to improve adherence to expenditure limits, or a control intervention (assessment-only). Pre and post- intervention interviews were conducted with 4-week follow-up interviews.

The findings suggest that implementation of a brief intervention prior to entering a gambling venue is feasible. The intervention was found to reduce intended spend (over the following month) but did not impact on adherence to gambling limits in venue or over the following month. However, those identified on the problem gambling screening index (PGSI) as moderate-risk and problem gamblers spent less than intended in the pokies. Findings provide insights into full range of strategies that both problem and non-problem gamblers use to stick to their limits, highlighting the reasons for, and strategies used to address ‘busts’ (times when limits are breached), which are an important contributor to gambling-related harm. Repeated busts may be an indicator of loss of control and a progression towards problem gambling. Interventions need to focus on factors that mitigate the risk of a bust (e.g., pre-commitment) and that assist gamblers to stick to their limits all of the time and this simple brief intervention appeared to impact on gambling intentions over the short term.

Project team

Turning Point team

Professor Victoria Manning and Professor Dan Lubman (Monash University).

Project partners

Dr Simone Rodda (Deakin University) and Dr Kathleen Bagot (Florey Institute).

Learn more about the project

The Final Report: