Report: Fewer Australians Gambling

New research Down Under finds that adult participation in most forms of gambling declined over the last year from the year before. The drop was small, 1.5 percent, and was offset by a surge in the numbers of people betting on their phones.

A new study from market research firm Roy Morgan shows a slight decrease in the number of adult Australians who gamble.

Analysis of averages over three-month periods covering the year through March reveals a dip to 49.1 percent from 50.6 percent a year earlier.

According to the study, the findings are in line with a gradually decreasing trend in the gambling industry in Australia across all categories and comes “despite the growing proliferation of gambling options, such as online and mobile betting,” the study said.

The study is based on surveys of more than 50,000 consumers, including 7,000 self-acknowledged gamblers who responded to in-depth questioning in their homes.

Overall, it was found that 3.1 million adults engaged in some form of casino-style gaming during the year, including casino games or poker, 1.9 million placed bets, presumably on sports or racing, and 7.8 million played lottery or scratch card games.

Interestingly, only 568,000 participated in all three categories.

The research also showed a surge in mobile betting, although the number of people using computers to bet was unchanged from the previous year.

“Of the 3.4 million people who place at least one bet each year, 34.1 percent of them bet online, which is notably higher than other online gambling categories, such as online poker (6.2 percent) and online casino games (13.2 percent),” the study states.

“Looking at the upward trend in online sports betting, this powerful growth is driven by mobile phone betting replacing traditional bookies for convenience, accessibility and breadth,” it adds. “Punters are now able to gamble on the AFL, NFL, Premier League, NBA, and more, all at the same time, place, and at the best odds available to them.”

The study concluded with a call for more in-depth research.

“Analysis of deep consumer data is needed to get a clear picture of Australia’s gamblers and that picture looks to challenge some of the current understandings of the industry,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. “Gambling in special contexts, such as casino or online betting, need to be examined as part of a broader context.”