Australia’s gambling growth shows no sign of slowing

Australia’s punters bet a record AUD$6.5 billion (USD$4.7 billion) in Y15Q3, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Although participation rates among Australian adults have fallen sharply in the last 15 years, with each year that passes, punters are betting more heavily.

“We’ve seen a drop in participation in gambling on a per-capita basis, but the expenditure on gambling hasn’t dropped,” Australian Gambling Research Centre manager Anna Thomas said. “What we are seeing is a smaller group of people gambling more heavily.”

“There was a period through the 1990s when there was a great increase in gambling. That then tailed off in the 2000s as the community came to realise the risks involved,” Ms Thomas said. “But that doesn’t account for people who are still gambling and gambling at very high levels, particularly on pokie machines.”

The biggest gambling spend still comes via bets placed on Australia’s 200,000 poker machines, however, online gaming and sports betting are the fastest growing areas.