When it comes to gambling, Australians are deemed to be very big spenders, and because of that, they have hit a new top record this year concerning the total sum of cash they spent on various gambling activities. A report by iGaming Business revealed that the country has reached that record-high gambling spend during the 12 months from September 30, 2014 up September 30, 2015.
This shows that during the 12-month period, a record sum of Aus$24.1 billion (€16.3 billion/US$17.7 billion) was spent on gambling alone, a very substantial amount that sort of says every resident in Australia suggestively spent (and apparently lost) an estimate of Aus$1,000 each! Compared to the amount spent last year in Australian gambling, this new figure shows that there was a 6% increase. Another interesting thing about it is that this amount is actually double the increase of the overall economy of Australia, which showed a 2.5% growth during the exact same timeframe.
The reason why there was a significant increase in money spent on gambling by Australians is because of the existence of several online betting sites as well as the vast use of pokies all over the states of Australia. However, the numerous varieties of gambling opportunities not only caught the attention of the potential players, but it also alerted the officials.
There are currently 23 million people living on the continent of Australia. According to the government's estimates, about 400,000 Australian residents, specifically men, have been exhibiting signs of problem-gambling behavior and gambling addiction.
Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, "Gambling is a popular and prevalent entertainment and leisure activity among Australians. Over 80% of Australian adults engage in gambling of some kind, which is the highest rate of gambling in the world. This number includes some 4% of the adult population who play the pokies once a week, accounting for some 62% of locals' annual gambling spend."
This alarming number drew Barry O'Farrell's attention, who then initiated an investigation regarding the operation and use of international gambling websites. A report on this subject shall be made and it is to be issued at a later time this month. The report shall be mainly focusing on the ways how to lower the negative impacts of online gambling in the country.
However, according to the statistics published by Global Betting and Gaming Consultants, most of the money that was spent by Australians was not actually on online gambling, but instead it was spent on poker machines. The Gaming Technologies Association made a report in 2014 stating that Australia actually ranks 2nd place in the number of poker machines per person amongst all developed countries, with Italy being in 1st place.
Craig James, a senior economist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, remarked that the main reason for the 6% increase in Australian gambling is that "gambling is too accessible for residents". He also noted that people no longer need to leave their homes just to bet on whatever they want to.