A national study by Gambling Research Australia found that online gambling is gaining significant popularity. This increase in online wagering’s prevalence contrasts with a slight decline in the total percentage of Australians who gamble.

Online Gambling in Australia Up, Research Shows

The Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia (the Study) was the first deep-dive by governmental funded researchers since 2010-2011. During 2019 and 2020, researchers reached over 15,000 Australians by phone and another 5,000 plus through online surveys of their gambling habits.

Over 17.5% of respondents to the Study reported participating in online gambling. This was more than double the 8.1% percent who were involved in interactive wagering during the first study. Interestingly, the rise in online gamblers coincided with a drop in gambling overall.

According to Study results, 56.9% of all respondents took part in some form of gambling. This was a drop from the 2010-2011 results, where 64.3% of Australians were gamblers. In the Study, gambling includes playing the lottery, punting on sports, or wagering on horse racing in addition to casino games and pokies.

Online Lotteries Most Popular Form of Interactive Wagering

The Study broke down participants’ favourite forms of online gambling. Playing the lottery was the most prevalent type of betting, with 10.1% of all respondents taking part. After online lotteries, horse race betting (5.9%) and sports wagering (5.8%) were the next most popular forms of bets for Australians.

According to Study results, the typical online gambler is a young male who has slightly more education than the average Australian. Interestingly, interactive gamblers tended to be in stable relationships rather than single. Participants cited the ease of making a bet through apps on their mobiles as one of the major reasons for online gambling’s popularity.

Online Gambling Consumer Protection Measures Lacking Effectiveness

The Study revealed online wagers are over twice as likely to be classified problem gamblers as those who only bet in-person. The government has taken steps recently to try to combat problem gambling, especially online. But it appears the current consumer protection planks are not reaching their intended audience.

In combination with the state and territory governments, the Commonwealth is currently implementing the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering (NCPF). However, measures such as allowing gamblers to pre-set deposit limits are only being used by a minority of bettors. Consumer protection steps like the NCPF may become more forceful in the future. The Study found that advertisements induced more than half of online gamblers to wager more money.

Ian Thompson

Poker Expert

A poker fanatic at heart, Ian is never too far away from the felt. He has been following the game since he was at college, and started writing for numerous online poker sites. The opportunity to have his on by-lines brought Ian to Gamble Online Australia, and we’re super happy to have his knowledge at our fingertips.
When he’s not writing about poker, Ian is honing his skills online, including his poker face! He hopes to one day win big at a WSOP event and meet his hero, Daniel Negreanu.

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