Australians are deeply in love with online gambling. 800,000 registered Aussie gamblers wagered almost $7 billion in the September quarter of 2016, which would average to more than $1000 per every Australian per year, or $35,000 per gambler. In fact, Australians have been leading the world in gambling for at least a decade.
Gambling is deeply embedded in Australian culture for decades now, and recently the switch to online gambling started to take place. With best online casinos offering up to $3000 total in welcome bonuses to every Australian, it’s understandable why many Aussies are making the switch.
Most of the revenue still comes from poker machines, which are wildly popular in Australia, but gambling online is the fastest-growing segment of the industry. The amount of money wagered is rising about 5 to 6 per cent every year while the online gambling segment rises around 15 per cent every year, indicating that the already gambling-crazed Australians are learning the benefits of placing their bets online, such as anonimity and a lower house edge.
Len Ainsworth, the Australian poker machine mogul, argues that the money that goes into gambling is in direct correlation to the nation’s economy, and that if the economy goes up 5 per cent you can expect the same increase in the amount of money gambled. It seems that the Australians always keep a certain portion of their income and dedicate it to gambling. Ainsworth also argues that the increase in money gambled is also related to inflation, as Australians always wager the same amount of money relative to their income and other expenses.
Another factor in the Australian switch to online gambling is the regular launch of new online casinos, which meet the demand for new online brands and promotions, particularly among those players who aren’t close to the big cities where the land-based casinos are. It certainly helps that the Australian economy is strong so there’s money to spare, and gambling is a highly valued social and leisure activity. It all sums up to make Australia a mecca for gambling.
However, it’s not all bright, for online gambling at least. The sometimes over-regulated country reached the stage where it started getting concerned by the revenue lost to foreign online operators, as well as the rising sociological impact of problem gambling. Senator Nick Xenophon is the most vocal opponent of gambling and has, among other things, demanded a $1 maximum bet on poker machines.