Aussie Punters Still The Biggest Gamblers

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Dec 8, 2017

Latest Australian Gambling Statistics report gets plenty of media coverage

The Australian mainstream media are currently all over the latest Australian Gambling Statistics report released late last week, which showed that Aussie punters continue to be the biggest gamblers in the world, burning through almost A$24 billion in a year, more than half of which was fed into pokie machines at pubs and clubs across the country.

The Queensland government, which compiled the report, notes that pokies losses grew 4.2 percent nationally, roughly double the rate of national inflation to reach A$12 billion in 2015-16, but sports betting remained the fastest-growing form of gambling.

At A$23.6 billion pokies accounted for the largest share of losses, followed by land casinos (A$5.2 billion), racing (A$2.9 billion) and Lotto (A$1.9 billion).

Sports betting was up 13 percent year-on-year, significantly boosted by the growing popularity and availability of internet and app-based wagering.

However, the report points out that sports betting is still only responsible for a comparatively small share of Australia’s overall gambling losses at A$920 million.

The report flags New South Wales as offering the most poker machines of any Australian province; it also showed the biggest increase in pokie losses in 2015-16, a rise of 6.2 percent, topping A$6 billion, or almost half of the nation-wide total.

For the first time in a decade per capita losses for NSW punters exceeded A$1,000 over the reporting period…the highest in the world.

Despite rising overall gambling losses, the hotels industry said the rate of problem gambling is, in fact, declining.

Stephen Ferguson, chief executive of the Australian Hotels Association told local reporters that less than 1 percent of the Australian population was affected by problem gambling.

“The Productivity Commission noted in its 2010 report that the prevalence of problem gambling had declined,” he said, “and recent state and territory surveys have shown this trend to be continuing.”

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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