A latest report of the Australian Gambling Research Centre reveals the involvement of 6.8 million Australians in gambling and sports betting activities.
The survey looked at gambling activity throughout 2015 in the country, to find over 6 million people placing up to 10 bets a month on lotteries, pokies, casinos, races, sports, scratchies, keno, bingo, poker or private wagers. Those placing 10 or more bets a month were classified as 'regular gamblers'.
Australians have a reputation of one who love a punt, but researchers suggest a proportion of these ‘regular gamblers’ are also the most financially and socially strained. 1.1 million were found to be at risk of gambling-related problems.
With the gambling habit, this proportion of gamblers put more of their household budget on the line than the wealthy. In comparison, regular gamblers spent an average of $883 a year on bets while problem gamblers spent $6241. The research estimates that problem gamblers wagered an average 27 per cent of their disposable household income in gamble and bets.
Dr. Andrew Armstrong, the lead research at the Australian Gambling Research Centre, said, “Gamblers in low-income families spent an average of 10 per cent of their household income on gambling, compared to high-income households which spent 1 per cent of the household budget.”
Majority of the ‘problem gamblers’ were found to be young, single, male, renters, unemployed, welfare recipients and from low socio-economic areas. Almost half of them who bet on the pokies, races, sports, casino, private betting or poker had or were dealing with one or more issues.
The most popular way to bet was lotteries, to be used by 76 per cent of regular gamblers. Scratchies was at the second popular bet at 22 per cent while 21 per cent made bets on the pokies. Elderly, particularly retirees with 10 years of schooling or less put their money on lottery and scratchies.