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Australian gambling statistics

The latest report released by the Queensland Government’s Statistician’s Office shows that sports betting is on the increase in Australia, however, it still only represents less than 4% of all dollars spent on gambling in the country. Betting on horse racing accounts for just over 12% of all expenditure.

The Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, in conjunction with the relevant State and Territory regulatory bodies, is responsible for preparing statistics on Australian gambling behaviour. The authoritative body provides a breakdown of activity for the various types of gambling. They distinguish sports betting in Australia from horse racing betting.

The numbers

This list provides a snapshot of the major gambling statistics in Australia for the 2015 / 16 year:

  • Australians spent $23.6 Billion on gambling
  • Average loss per person that gambles = $1,272.81
  • Racing betting = 12.4%
  • Sports betting = 3.8%
  • Other forms of gambling = 83.8%
  • Increase in gambling

  • Racing betting = 4.1%
  • Sports betting = 13.0%
  • Other forms of gambling = 3.9%

Online betting in perspective

An analysis of these numbers helps to put betting in Australia in perspective somewhat: only 16.2% of all gambling is on sports or horse racing events. In fact, of the remaining 83.8%, it is estimated that over 70% is on games of pure chance, where the players as a collective, are guaranteed to lose.

Sports betting on the increase

Sports betting is the sector that has seen the greatest rise in expenditure, with an annual reported increase of 13%. A closer look at these number reveals that the increase in expenditure with licensed betting sites is 28%, while the demise of pari-mutuel betting continued with the TAB falling 8.4%.

The rise of online lotteries

One alarming figure from 2015 / 16 statistics is the dramatic rise in money lost on online lotteries. Expenditure in the segment increased by 91.8%, yet remains relatively low, accounting for just 0.2% of total gambling losses. However, given the recent the exposure online lotteries have received since these figures were compiled, we await with great interest to see their impact in 2016 / 17 and beyond.

Sports betting statistics

In 2017, the Australian Institute of Family Studies released a report into sports betting for the 2015 year. Key findings from their research include:

  • Sports bettors were: 89% Male, 79% aged 18 – 49 and 70% worked full time
  • Over 574,00 adults wagered regularly on sports
  • 41% of sports bettors experienced one or more gambling problems

The last statistic is particularly sobering. It’s clear from the findings that sports bettors are more susceptible to the adverse effects of gambling than other players. The figures reinforce the need to have a clear plan and make informed decisions about betting.