Australia Reports High Gambling Participation

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Reducing gambling in Australia seems like a bigger challenge now than ever. Despite concerns over problem gambling and efforts made to curb the popularity of poker machines among the local residents, Australia has reported high gambling participation and spending rates for the year 2018.

However, the efforts to discourage gambling continued. Anti-gambling campaigners and organizations offered professional counseling for those suffering from gambling addiction. Former addicts raised their voices against EGTs (Electronic Gaming Terminals), also known as Pokies, citing that the machined played an active role in inducing gambling addiction among those who used them. The Pokies have long been blamed for causing a rise in gambling addiction.

Australian Adults Retain “Biggest Spenders” Title

In early 2018, H2 Gambling Capital, a global gambling analyst firm, published a report indicating that Australian adults were the biggest gambling spenders across the globe. According to the report, the total gambling losses reported by Australian adults in 2017 was around US$960 million.

The results are indicative of the continued rise in gambling participation among Australians and the subsequent rise in losses among them. Needless to say, this is a matter of serious concern for the Australian government.

Another media report found that gambling losses per-capita went up to AU$1,320 million in 2017. The steady rise in losses incurred by gambling players has bothered anti-gambling campaigners, who are now calling for more stringent measures to be introduced by authorities. The anti-gambling campaigners want increased protection to be offered to people affected by compulsive gambling habits.

Pokies, the Root Cause of Evil

Pokies are said to be behind the rise in gambling addiction among Australians. One statistical study from 2018 pointed out that pokies were responsible for generating more than half of the annual gambling losses experienced by adult gamblers in the country.

The machines come with monotonous sounds and flashing lights, which are said to play an active role in luring people towards them.

However, pokies aren’t the only gambling option available to Australians. Even so, they are reportedly the most profitable for service providers, among all other gambling options and also, the most addictive.

Apart from adults, Australia has also observed an increase in problem gambling among children. According to a study published by Deakin University in 2018, 3 out of 4 children who watch sports associate it with gambling.

It has also been observed that the gambling age has constantly become lower, while the popularity of online betting and mobile gambling has grown among minors.

About the Author

- iGaming & land based specialist reporter for the global gaming market