10 Interesting Facts About Gambling In Australia

It’s a little-known fact that Australia is a haven for online sports punters, casino bettors, and gaming developers. Some of the world’s best virtual poker machines are available on the nation’s biggest betting platforms, encouraging millions of users to try to win while playing at real money online casinos. In this expert-led guide, we’ve delved into every nook and cranny to find 10 fascinating facts about gambling in Australia. From revenue to pokies and sports wagering to the racing industry, you’ll catch a glimpse of the scene as a whole in this piece.

High Gambling Expenditure

Considering Australia’s absolute size in terms of land, the nation is home to a relatively small population. This hasn’t staggered the growth of the Australian gambling industry, with billions of Australian dollars infused into online betting sites annually.

Recent gambling in Australia statistics show that Australian citizens are keen bettors. In 2020, Aussies wagered AU$ 17 billion on gambling activities. Two years later, the economy was significantly boosted when it was revealed that upwards of AU$ 420 million of bettors’ money had been reinvested in the state.

Proliferation of Pokies

Also known as poker machines, pokies are one of the most popular ways for Australian adults to gamble online. Most licensed online casinos are home to a wide breadth of pokies created by major developers — with NetEnt, Yggdrasil, and Play’n Go a trio of the biggest names.

Over 200,000 physical pokies in casinos, clubs, and pubs are scattered around the country, displaying Australia’s preference for this type of game. Australia hosts 20% of the world’s pokie machines – evidencing both the quality of the country’s gambling facilities and players’ intrigue regarding this type of casino betting.

Studies show that the youth of today are increasingly getting hooked on gambling. Recent research reports detail a 16% rise in young people seeking assistance with problem gambling. Be it a private affair or online betting — these are issues that the Australian authorities work to remedy daily.

Sports Betting Craze

The Australian Institute of Family Studies reports that 44% of Australians aged 18+ engaged in sports betting at some point during the year. This comes as no surprise. Australia’s professional sports leagues continue to grow – with the home-based Women’s FIFA World Cup in 2023 proving a hit among locals.

Aussie Rules, the English Premier League, and the A-League all serve as popular picks, with Australian sports bettors backing their favourites at online sports betting sites. The former attracts heightened attention compared to its rivals, boasting 42% engagement from those who gamble online.

Growth of Online Gambling

Online gambling in Australia is expected to grow year-on-year throughout the next decade. Annual expenditure sits at more than AU$2 billion, a clear marker for things to come in the Australian gambling industry. The regulatory restrictions have not deterred those living in any Australian state where rates are affordable, with some authorities reporting growth rates of just over 5% between now and 2028. Whether this will be associated with a rise in gambling problems is a concern of the Australian authorities.

Stricter Regulations on Online Gambling

Australia is not an open market for online poker machines and virtual casinos. Online gaming machines are heavily regulated by the government, with The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 forbidding many types of betting.

These rules are frustrating in many ways, but many deem them necessary to protect the nation from falling victim to developing gambling problems. Tight restrictions on where bettors can spend their Australian dollars have not deterred the masses from visiting offshore sites – so we may see a push for a legal and regulated online casino in Australia soon.

Gambling Expenditure by State

New South Wales is far and away the state with the highest expenditure when it comes to gambling Australia. With figures of around AU$1,500 per capita during 2020, the state stands above the Northern Territory in second place, at AU$1,352 per capita. Queensland and Victoria are next — as both states’ vast populations contribute to their impressive numbers. Tasmania’s figures were least impressive, at just AU$602.23 per capita — but the region’s minnowing population size accounts for that.

Government Revenue from Gambling

The Australian Government receives a significant sum of money from betting services each year. This is so much so that the 2020 fiscal year reports detailed revenue of more than AU$ 5.8 billion directly accumulated from gambling services.

This money is invested in healthcare, education, infrastructure, public funds, and other essential services – but it’s not without controversy. Some believe that the government should not rely on money accrued from Australian gamblers as it flies in the face of supporting those with gambling problems.

Employment in the Gambling Industry

In the years following the opening of the first casino in Australia — the Wrest Point Hotel Casino — the nation soon warmed to the idea of working in the gaming industry. Today’s betting scene employs around 100,000 Australians, many of whom work globally. To put these figures into context, UK estimates show that British citizens account for around half that number.

Job roles include working at retail casinos, horse racing stalls, gaming events and venues, within regulatory bodies, and support services for problem gamblers.

Responsible Gambling Initiatives

Combatting the effects of problem gambling in an area close at heart for many residing in Australia. Many responsible gambling initiatives have been instated, including mandatory pre-commitment schemes, public awareness campaigns, self-exclusion programs, and gambling help organisations to assist problem gamblers.

Final Words

And with that, we’ve gone through 10 intriguing gambling facts in Australia. From safer gambling initiatives to government revenue and employment to the prevalence of pokies, there’s a fact in this quick piece for every type of Aussie bettor.

Or, if you’re simply interested in reading about the Australian gambling market, refer to the sections that specifically apply to you. We’ve broken down gambling expenditure by the highest-spending states, how the Australian Government regulates online betting and why, while also dedicating a space to the undeniable growth of online gambling services nationwide. Based on everything written above, it becomes clear that gambling is prevalent in Australia.

We use cookies as set out in our privacy policy. By clicking on this pop up, you agree to our policies.