Substance Abuse and Gambling

The World Health Organisation defines ‘substance abuse’ as the harmful use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco.1 The effects of substance abuse are not isolated, and research indicates that heavy consumption of alcohol, drugs and tobacco are closely related to a range of short and long-term health issues. Similarly, like substance use addictions, gambling addiction negatively affects the person, their family and friends, as well as the wider community.

This profile compares levels of substance use, smoking status and gambling amongst Wyndham adults, to adults across Greater Melbourne and Victoria.

All data refers to adults aged 18+ years unless otherwise stated.

Image of bottle
Image of EGM
  • Wyndham is ranked 8th out of 70 LGAs for gaming machine losses in Victoria (2018/19).
  • Wyndham had a 3% greater gambling loss per adult ($407) than the Victorian average ($396) in 2019/20.
  • Gambling losses in Wyndham were greatly affected by COVId-19 lockdowns, but are increasing at a faster rate compared to the previous year.
  • 3.4% of Victoria’s Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) venues are located in Wyndham.
  • 3.8% of all gambling losses Victoria-wide occur in Wyndham EGMs.


Electronic Gaming Machines, Wyndham and Victoria 2019/203,4

Electronic Gaming Machine Losses, Wyndham 2019/2020 Financial year

2019/2020 Wyndham Victoria
EGM Gambling Losses $75,755,562 $1,988,190,590
EGM Gambling per day $207,549.48 $5,447,097.51
Losses Per Adult $407.25 $396.73
% Change in Losses -29% -26%

Between 2008 and 2014, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of adult Victorians who smoke, and this was the case in Wyndham as well. Between 2014 and 2017 the rate of daily smokers has decreased slightly in Victoria (to 12.4%) and increased in Wyndham from 13.1% to 15.4%.

Current Smokers, 2008-2017
Current smokers, Wyndham, Western Melbourne and Victoria 2008, 2011, 2014 and 20175

Hospitalisations for illicit substance use in Wyndham are on the rise, however a decrease for many LGAs can be seen in the most current data. Compared to other growth areas across Greater Melbourne, there are fewer hospitalisations per 10,000 people in Wyndham for illicit substance use in 2017/18 except for Whittlesea. In 2017/18 there were around 14 hospitalisations per 10,000 people in Wyndham.

Hospitalisation rate per 10,000 population - Illicit substance use, growth areas, 2013/14 to 2017/18
Hospitalisation rate per 10,000 population - Illicit substance use, growth areas, 2013/14 to 2017/186