Australia is back in the lead as the gambling capital of the world, generating the most gambling losses per capita.
A recent research by The Economist revealed that gamers Down Under have generated the most losses playing under the Australian gambling laws. The results show that Australian gambling industry made $18.4 billion last year: gamblers’ total spending minus their winnings.
This figure means that the country’s residents spend more on gambling at online casinos in Australia and through other possibilities per capita than any other country on the globe. The same figure also puts Australian population into sixth position in the world when overall gambling losses are concerned.
Where do the figures come from?
As was expected, the majority of losses came from poker machines, or pokies as they are called Down Under. The debate among lawmakers whether to ban them dates back to 2010, and is still going on. Whatever happens to land-based pokies, Australian internet casino will surely make up for their absence in real-life should they be ultimately banned.
A little while back, The Economist has published a pretty similar report, but based on the 2010 data. The thing that strikes our attention right away is the decrease of total amount of losses per person. There’s a $200 difference between 2010 and 2013.
The downward trend can be explained by the initiatives taken by the lawmakers in order to tackle problem gambling. The Productivity Commission outlined the serious threat of problem gamblers in Australia in 2010.
The poker machines were legalized across different states and territories in Australia during the 1990s, when the big leap in gambling spendings occurred. During this time major casinos were also opened: The Star in Sydney and Crown in Melbourne. Naturally, this has also affected the increase in gambling spending.
However, during the 2000s the rising trend started to level out, and even the options to play online casino in Australia didn’t result in another spike. The recent research by Roy Morgan even shows a decreasing trend in gambling activity among Australian population. The same study also revealed a big slip in poker machines popularity.
What about the online gambling options in Australia?
Australia is once again the gambling capital of the world
• Recent report shows that Australia is leading in terms of gambling per capita
• However, there’s a downward trend in gambling spending
• Mobile and online casinos in Australia seem to be the future of the industry
The data revealed by The Economist doesn’t really show the situation with internet gambling in Australia. The country’s government has already admitted that it is yet difficult to track this kind of activity, since there’s a lack of monitoring the online gambling operators. And then again, not all revenues generated by online gambling facilities are taxed by Australian coffers.
The study does show the increase of revenues at phone and online sportsbooks in Australia. The figures have grown from $518 million in 2001 to $3.6 billion in 2012. Proponents of a ban on online gambling argue that this activity offers little if any real ways to control problem gamblers.
The overall gambling trends in the country certainly affect individual industry players. For example, Echo Entertainment suffered a 30 percent decrease in earnings. However, the factors behind Echo’s revenue drop are not limited just to the decrease in gambling participation in Australia.
The downward gambling spending trend also explains why major casinos are now going after the VIPs, rather than relying on traditional moneymakers – pokies.
It looks like the online gambling and mobile casinos in Australia are the way to go for the industry. And it will be interesting to learn just how many of the land-based establishments in Australia will tap into those markets in the near future.