A two-year study of the gambling habits of Australians has found that participation rates have fallen, however the number of people gambling online has doubled.
According to the Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia, which was funded by government body Gambling Research Australia, overall gambling participation has decreased from 64.3% in 2010 to 56.9% as of the start of the survey in 2019.
Conversely, 17.5% of the 15,000 people surveyed had gambled online compared with just 8.1% in 2010. Of those, online lotteries was most popular at 10.1% of people surveyed versus 5.9% for horse racing and 5.8% for sports betting.
“This growth in online gambling has been driven by faster internet speeds, the convenience of betting on smartphone apps, extensive advertising and inducements, and new betting options like multi-bets,” said Professor Nerilee Hing from CQUniversity’s Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory.
“New online activities have also been introduced including eSports, fantasy sports, skin gambling and loot boxes.”
The study found the average online gambler was likely to be a young male, better educated than the average Australian, in a de facto relationship and to gamble across multiple activities.
It also found that 9.1% of Australian adults had experienced some level of harm from their own gambling and 6.0% from another person’s gambling, with online gamblers twice as likely as land-based only gamblers to experience harm.