The current Australian gambling industry is ambiguous. On the one hand, it features one of the most liberated laws where offshore casinos can easily enter the market and provide their services. On the other hand, such an environment causes high risks for vulnerable gamblers.
For a long time, there have been dozens of complaints towards Labor Party representatives regarding the insufficient reforming of the gambling industry. For example, Dominic Perrotet (ex-premier of New South Wales) offered to create a cashless card with a certain predetermined limit.
It could help vulnerable people reduce the risk of gambling addiction and decrease the level of money laundering. Experts already tested this approach but only on 500 machines. This is not a problem for money launderers, as they have about 90,000 other variants to switch to.
In this review, you will learn more about the current challenges for the Australian gambling market, key statistics, and what to expect from the market in the future.
Current Australian Gambling Statistics
The gambling industry is trendy in Australia, primarily because of offshore casinos. Implementation of handy and simple banking options only fuels this tendency. Aussies may easily register on fast payout casinos to cash out winnings in a few clicks or become a member of crypto sites and enjoy their favorite games anonymously.
Studies show that about 50% of adult Aussies play some type of gambling game, spending approximately 1,260 AUD per year.
Participation in Gambling Activity
Based on the latest data provided by the Australian Gambling Research Centre, almost 73% of surveyed adults spend real money on gambling. Among the top 5 categories were the following:
- Lottery: 63.8%;
- Horse racing: 38.1%;
- Sports: 33,8%;
- Poker: 33,4%;
- Keno/Bingo: 29,8%.
At the same time, almost 38% of Aussie adults gamble at least once a week. It is mostly the age category from 18 to 54. Men (48%) are more involved in the gambling industry compared to women (28%). At the same time, the majority of men prefer horse racing (56%).
The second and third place go to poker machines and sports betting, featuring 54% and 46%, respectively. When it comes to younger people (18-19 years), they give preference to pokies (30%), scratchies (15%), and table games (13%).
Aussie players spend significant sums that help the Australian Government collect about 20+ Billion AUD annually. At the same time, the overall expenditure during 2019-2020 was less compared to 2018-2019 (21.2 billion AUD against 25.9 billion AUD, respectively).
It was mainly related to COVID-19 restrictions. Experts estimated that the average Aussie player brings 11,500 AUD to the nation’s gambling revenue.
Responsible Gambling Issues
Gambling-related harm is another important statistic to consider. Based on the research conducted in 2022, it was found that about 46% of Aussie gamblers (18+) fit the “at-risk” category. In this percentage, there were also players with existing addictions and those who experienced gambling harm.
As for gender differences, the percentage of “at-risk” men was about 53%, while the same figure for women was 38%. The most significant rate of “at-risk” players was observed in the 18–34 age group.
Future Challenges of the Australian Gambling Industry
In the near future, the Australian gambling market will experience the increased impact of advertising. It includes the following:
- Advertisements via social networks;
- Advanced bonus programs like partner bets or multi-bets with the involvement of celebrities;
- Growth of online gambling industry (especially online pokies);
- Closer combination of gambling and video games (in-game purchases, loot boxes, etc.).
We also expect further discussions about regulating offshore casinos since their share in the Australian gambling market will continue to grow. However, activists such as Lauren Levin from Financial Consulting Australia claim that the problem of offshore casinos is definitely overestimated.
She believes that independent gambling sites are no more of a threat than native casinos, where people lose money as well. She thinks most of the attention should be focused on preventing harm to consumers, especially young people.