Pokies continue to dominate Australia-gambling spend

    Poker machines continued to dominate gambling in Australia, accounting for almost two thirds of total spending over the 12 months to March.
    Pokie spending accounted for $9.8 billion of the $16.3 billion spent on gambling overall, according to the Roy Morgan Gambling Monitor.
    Australians spent $2.5 billion on race betting and $1.7 billion on lotteries, or 15 percent and 10 percent of the annual gambling spend respectively.
    Sports betting accounted for $0.9 billion or 5 percent of the total, casino table games came in at $0.6 billion, with just 4 percent of the total and Keno was $0.5 billion.
    “Despite losing popularity over the past decade, poker machines still generate the bulk of revenue from gambling in Australia,” Jane Ianniello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, at Roy Morgan Research, said. “This makes sense, as half of poker machine players qualify as heavy gamblers, compared to one in five gamblers overall.”
    Australians are among the world’s biggest gamblers, although the top 20 percent of gamblers make up about 90 percent of the total spend, according to a separate report by the same organization.
    Light gamblers tend to be those who buy lottery tickets (81%) and an occasional scratch ticket (26%) in an average three-month period but rarely partake in other types of gambling, it said.
    Casino operators currently have multi-billion dollar plans to build new integrated resorts in Australia, targeted mainly at the Asian VIPs. Crown Resorts is building a new casino in Sydney, while three new resorts are likely to be built in Queensland under new licenses being issued by the government there.