Households containing higher risk gamblers experienced a much higher rate of stressful financial events than those of lower risk gamblers. 51% of problem gamblers lived in households where someone had to ask for financial help; 27% were unable to pay the mortgage or rent on time. Around 80% of those who reported problems in 2015 had gambled in a typical month of that year. Specifically, 1.13 million (17%) regular gamblers experienced problems including 139,000 (2.1%) problem gamblers. Problem gamblers appeared to comprise particularly high proportions of private betting (12%), casino table game (15%), and poker (22%) participants. For the most part, mean gambling expenditure did not differ significantly across sociodemographic groups.
State and Territory governments contribute a fixed percentage of their gambling revenue to a national education campaign on gambling and to agencies that assist and rehabilitate problem gamblers. See Australian gambling statistics, 36th edition for background information and more detail on the definition of gambling products, sources of gambling data, relevant legislation and FOXZ89 notes attached to specific tables and data items. Gambling is a major public policy issue in Australia, affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in a range of ways. Estimates suggest that Australians lost approximately $25 billion on legal forms of gambling in 2018–19, representing the largest per capita losses in the world (Letts 2018; QGSO 2021).
Lottery, keno and instant scratch ticket expenditure showed the weakest rise across risk groups, with problem gambling participants spending twice as much on average as those without problems. EGM expenditure showed a much steeper rise, with problem gamblers spending five times as much as non-problem gamblers. Race and particularly sports betting expenditure showed an exponential rise across risk groups, with expenditure doubling between non-problem gamblers and moderate risk participants, and doubling or tripling again for problem gambling participants.
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To help get your finances back in order after gambling issues, you can also speak to anASIC approved financial counsellor. Because we're one of few countries that permits these machines outside of casinos - frequenting pubs, bars, and even sporting clubs, with the exception of Western Australia. Stopping payments to the racing industry from tax revenues collected from the wagering point of consumption tax (equivalent of 2% of net wagering profits). Requiring advertisers and platform operators to take all possible steps to ensure children under 18 years of age are not exposed to gambling related advertising with significant penalties for breaches. Increasing the tax rates on casinos and directing the revenue towards gambling harm-minimisation and mitigation strategies. Working towards lifting all legislative exemptions for casinos, including the exemption on the indoor-smoking ban.
The survey found that almost one quarter (24%) of Australian adults spent money on a single activity in a typical month, while 15% participated in multiple activities. Longitudinal data with which to measure change over time in gambling activity and effects on individuals and families was similarly absent. Typical monthly expenditure by the 6.8 million regular gamblers amounted to an estimated $8.6 billion dollars nationally for 2015.
Table 3.6 shows mean expenditure on the five most common activities by participant sociodemographic characteristics for 2015. Within each activity, mean expenditure by sociodemographic characteristic was compared to the overall activity mean expenditure. Participant sample sizes were too small to provide this level of detail reliably for the five remaining activities .
Compared to two decades ago, far fewer now participate in activities that emphasise chance, including lotteries, scratch tickets, keno and Electronic Gaming Machines . Much greater numbers now participate in activities that emphasise skill and experience in predicting the outcome, including some casino table games, horse and dog racing and especially sports (Armstrong et al. 2017). Recent data indicates 8.4 million or 42.6% of all Australians played the lottery or chose instant scratch tickets, while about 12% or 2.4 million played poker machines in an average yearly quarter in 2020. Sports betting was the third most popular form of gambling in Australia, with 2.1 million participants or 10.4% of the population.
Gambling expenditure was significantly higher than average among male gamblers, those who had completed schooling no further than year 10, were employed full-time, single and lived with multiple adults. Mean expenditure was otherwise similar between gamblers with different sociodemographic characteristics, including those with low and high incomes and those whose main source of income was either a wage or welfare payment. Race bettors were further over-represented among those with the highest incomes. A substantially higher proportion of participants were aged 50 and older, had 10 years or less of schooling, were retired, lived alone or with only their partner, and lived outside of a major city.