Australian Gambling Facts and Figures
In Australia, gambling is an incredibly popular pastime and with the advent of online casinos in the 1990’s players have since had access to unlimited entertainment opportunities whenever they desire. Whilst every gambler has their own preferences and habits, the online casino industry is so expansive that it caters to all types of players within Australia.
In 2010 the official Productivity Report of the Australian Government showed that the annual online gambling spend was around $800 million. This figure has increased over time due to the fact that online casinos pose no geographical challenges and offer a greater variety of games and larger payouts than their land based counterparts. To date, both online and offline gambling continues to flourish across the country and remains an integral part of Australian culture.
Australia’s Gambling Background
The ongoing liberalisation of gambling in Australia from the early 1990’s has contributed to making this activity such a common pastime. The Australian Government’s Report on Gambling illustrated that approximately 70% of Australians participated in some type of gambling every year, with over $20 billion dollars wagered in some form or another annually.
Gambling online in Australia is also completely legal and although there are certain rules and regulations it’s up to the casino and not the player to ensure these are enforced. The fact that online gambling is a lawful pursuit has made many Australians more comfortable playing in the digital arena and encouraged them to switch from land based venues to an easier, more accessible alternative.
Favourite Australian Casino Games
In the online sphere, pokies are a favourite of almost every Australian, and the same is true at land based casinos. It’s estimated that 4% of the adult population plays pokies at least once a week and online casinos turn over around $541 million annually, with pokies contributing to a large portion of this. Scratchies and lottery-style games are also incredibly popular in Australia, as are table games such as blackjack and roulette. Poker is another often-played online game and dedicated poker sites turnover around $249 million every year.
Although Australia is the 53rd most populous country, it has the most gaming machines globally, with a 5th of the world’s supply all found locally. There are more gambling machines per capita in Australia than anywhere else, including gambling capitals such as Las Vegas and Macau. In just the state of New South Wales there are more than 100,00 poker machines, not counting those in casinos that cater to players online.
Although online and land based gambler demographics may differ slightly, with a vast majority of land based gamblers in Australia also playing online, statistically there are many crossovers. It’s estimated that between 18-32% of online players are under 30 years old, with men tending to dominate in games such as poker and likely to bet on sports and races, whilst women are inclined to play online bingo or pokies. Generally the typical Australian online player has a high socio-economic profile and a greater than average annual income.
Gambling Boosts the Economy
In Australia the gambling industry employs over 200,000 people and resorts, casinos, hotels and other establishments generate a huge amount of revenue just from gambling. Gambling taxes from operators also contribute greatly to territory and state revenue, and as there are several different mandatory taxes imposed, 87% of total taxes paid all come from gambling in one form or another. Gambling activities also make up approximately 1% of the Australian GDP, and whilst not a huge contributor it certainly has a positive effect on the local economy, especially in terms of job creation.
Local Spending Habits
Australia’s love of gambling is well documented and the vast number of online casinos available is testament to this. Whilst free games are readily available, it’s evident that Australians prefer playing for real money. When compared to other spending habits, gambling comes out on top at an estimated $17.52 per week, higher that alternative leisure activities such as drinking, which comes in $10.99 weekly, and more than most spend on petrol at $15.27 per week.
It’s clearly evident that online and offline gambling in Australia is incredibly popular and that the habits of local players show how consistently dedicated they are to this enjoyable activity.