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Understanding Australia’s Gambling Landscape: An Analysis of the Latest Statistics and Trends

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The Australian gambling and sports betting landscape is vast and ranks among the top ten in the world. Although many legal activities exist, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates show Australians lose billions of dollars in stakes. The Victoria state alone accounts for around AU$ 7 billion, even as gambling-related harm affects families.

Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regulate gambling. But even then, some states have moved to address concerns around advertising sports betting and gambling. Today, we will go through the latest gambling statistics in Australia. We will also analyse the trends using Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) data.

Online Gambling Market Size in Australia

Between 2018 1and 2019, the Australian gambling market size was about AU$ 25 billion, according to a report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre. The figure covered all forms of gambling, including:

  • Lotteries
  • Bingo
  • Poker
  • Keno
  • Casino table games
  • Dog racing
  • Sports betting
  • Horse racing
  • Gaming machines

New online casinos in Australia 2023 seem to enjoy a considerable market size. A report from the IMARC shows that online gambling is on an upward path. The ease of accessing games via the internet gives gamblers options to play various titles in the comfort of their homes.

On average, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported in 2021 that 35% of adults spent cash on gambling. Free games, bonuses, and loyalty points are other zesty attractions to online casinos. As it is, the Australian online gambling market may reach 7.2 billion by 2028.

Participation in Online Gambling in Australia

Gambling’s spread seems to be more common among Australian men than women. Between 2015 and 2018, about 50% of adults above 55 gambled more, although the overall percentage has been shrinking.

Lottery games attract the highest following, followed by instant scratch tickets. Poker machines come third. Sports betting is a favourite among young gamblers. Perhaps it is due to its social nature that allows friends to place or discuss odds and outcomes together.

On the flip side, the national customer protection framework introduced in 2028 brought measures to save Australians from gambling harm. Some states now limit access to gambling venues. For example, Crown Casino is the only gambling house in Western Australia.

Regarding the amount of cash the Australian gambling industry induces into the economy, territories may have to rethink some rules. Self-exclusion programs and education campaigns will be ideal ways to keep gamblers safe instead of limiting gambling activities.

Gambling Spending in Australia

Australians spend about $225 billion on gambling, with one person losing over AU$ 1200 annually. From the figure, it makes sense to infer that some gamblers lose more cash, maybe hundreds of dollars, if not thousands.

Research from the Victoria Problem Gambling Foundation in 2017 found that the gambling cost totalled AU$ 7 billion in losses to locals. In 2018, 1.33 million Australians were exposed to one or more gambling-related problems.

Half of the general spending among gamblers seemed to outlay specific games such as poker machines. Gamblers with low income spend more cash compared to those in high-income homes. Below is a breakdown of how much problematic gambling spending impacted lives between 2014 and 2015.

  •  AU$1.3 billion – financial losses
  •  AU$2.2 billion – family problems
  •  AU$600 million – work-related costs
  •  AU$1.6 billion – depression, violence, and suicide
  • AU$100 million – crime activities

With the government raking over AU$6 billion in yearly revenue from gambling, NSW pokie machines made a profit of AU$6.5 billion in 2019 alone. This makes it difficult for the Australian authority to do away with gambling altogether. It is only a matter of time to see which direction the industry goes with the new measures.

Expected Online Gambling Revenue

In 2022, the gross Australian gambling value chipped about AU$ 420 million into the economy. Gaming companies in the Northern Territory take about AU$50 in bets on 32 sportsbooks and betting exchanges. A report from IBISWorld predicts the revenue may grow by about 3% each year for the next five years.

Of course, the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 still prohibits online gambling. But again, exceptions are on online sports betting in offshore gaming sites, which are not under the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA).

Here are sports betting regulators in each Australian State/Territory under the Interactive Gambling act of 2001.

State/TerritoryRegulatorHead OfficeTelephone NO
New South WalesLiquor and Gaming NSW4 Parramatta Square 12 Darcy Street1300 024 720
VictoriaVictoria Casino and Gambling Control CommissionLevel 312 Shelley Street Richmond1300 182 457
Northern TerritoryDepartment of Industry, Tourist and TradeLevel 3, NAB Building 71 Smith Street Darwin NT 080008 8999 1800
ACTACT Gambling and Racing CommissionAccess Canberra GPO box 158Canberra ACT 260102 6207 0359
TasmaniaTasmania Liquor and Gaming Commission21 Murry Street Hobart TAS 700003 6166 4444
Western AustraliaGaming and Wagering Commission246 Vincent Street Leederville WA 60071800 634 541
South AustraliaLiquor Gambling and Lotteries SAConsumer and Business Services, GPO Box 1719 Adelaide SA 5001131 882
QueenslandOffice of Liquor and Gaming RegulationState Law Building 50 Ann Street Brisbane QLD 400013 74 68

Contributors of Online Gambling in Australia

In the last six months of 2022, Australia Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) stated that more than one Australian in ten engaged in online gambling. Over 4% of Australian adults play pokies once a week, which is a high population compared to other parts of the world. Several factors have fueled the growth of online gambling in recent years. Here are some of the key drivers in Australia.

Increasing Internet Penetration

As more Australian adults access the internet and mobile devices, it becomes easier to gamble online than at brick-and-mortar casinos.

Online Gambling Technology

The rising use of virtual reality, blockchain, and three-dimensional (3D) in pokie machines makes them more fun. Online gamblers can now enjoy a more realistic gaming experience while playing with virtual gambling simulators by the best Australian software providers.

Regulatory Changes

The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001, which regulates online gambling, was amended in 2017 to allow licensed online bookmakers and sports betting operators to offer in-play betting. This has helped to fuel growth in the online sports betting market.

Marketing and Advertising

Online gambling operators in Australia invest heavily in advertising, particularly on social media platforms, which has increased awareness and participation. As it is, online casino affiliate programs even pay marketers more than other online businesses.

Payment Options

The ease of using various payment options, including electronic wallets, credit and debit cards, cryptocurrencies, and bank transfers, has made it breezier for people to deposit and withdraw money from online gambling accounts.

Oversee Gambling Authorises

The presence of international gambling bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) paves the way for authentic online casinos to enter the Australian gambling market.

Global Trends

The growth of online gambling is also part of a broader global trend. As more people win jaw-dropping jackpot prizes, Australian adults turn to online gambling to try their luck on a wide range of casino games.

Online Gambling Effects on Australians

Gambling in Australia has existed since the 1850s, with horse racing being the first game locals could try their luck. After changes to the Gambling Act in 2017, Australians have mixed reactions to online gambling. Here are some of the positive and negative effects of online gambling that every Australian should know:

Positive Effects

  • Convenience and accessibility: Online gambling platforms in Australia provide an alternative avenue for citizens to gamble, especially those who live in remote or rural areas. Making transactions is simple as long as you use a banking option that is accepted by the online casino you’re using.
  •  Entertainment and socialisation: For some people, online gambling can provide entertainment and socialisation to others with similar interests. You can even compete against your friends or team up to create a wagering strategy.
  • Revenue for the government: Online gambling generates revenue through taxes and licensing fees. This means well for the Australian economy.

Negative Effects

  • Problem gambling: Generally, gambling can increase the risk of problem gambling, leading to financial difficulties, relationship problems, and mental health issues. It is always wise to budget wagering cash and stick to it.
  • Addiction: Online gambling is fun and rewarding but can be addictive. It can lead to people spending more time and money than they intend, negatively limiting their productivity.
  • Risk exposure: Online gambling requires gamblers to do a background check of the sites they join since not all are legit. Some can expose your gaming account to risks such as fraud, scams, and identity theft. It is crucial to check the licenses of the online casino you want to join in Australia.

It’s important to note that the adverse effects of online gambling are manageable. Some responsible gambling measures include self-exclusion programs, betting limits, and problem gambling support services.

Conclusion

The online gambling market in Australia is subject to change in the coming years. Gambling restrictions in various states may also impact national growth. As it is, the future and landscape of gambling in Australia look bright if the above analysis is anything to go by. But again, the buck stops with the territorial authorities to set gambling rules and oversee the activities. If you are new to gambling, it is always wise to first zero in on games you wish to play before staking. While at it, remember to manage your time and money to avert risks associated with irresponsible gambling.

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