Now that's an interesting question, one that spawned numerous studies and countless polls all over the continent. While clear, exact numbers don't really exist due to the size of the phenomena, it's more or less official that over 70% of the adult Australian population is engaged in some sort of gambling activity. The number may come as a shock and may seem overwhelming and hard to believe. But is it really? Well, let's find out!
What are the main excitement bringers?
The reasons why people love to gamble are many and quite subjective. Some just want to pass some time, some view this as a way of making money, others just for the thrill of it, and the list goes on and on. One thing is sure though: in Australia you'll find variety at its finest and you will never, ever be bored.
The Melbourne Cup- commonly known as the race that stops a nation - became so popular that the race day is officially recognized as a holiday. It's the definitive and most relevant example of the Australian racing and sports betting section. In the year 2000, a betting establishment reached the conclusion that 80% of the Australian adults placed at least one bet during that year's race. More than 11 million people! It's also an amazing tourist attraction, over 83.000 tourists betting more than $180 million in 2010. However, the event is equally popular in New Zealand as well, the Melbourne cup being the country's single biggest betting event.
Pokies- also known as slot machines - have a sort of paradox around them. Surprisingly and contrary to some beliefs, only 4% of the adults are regular players and 70% of them don't even play them at all! So why are the pokies the main source of income for clubs and casinos? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that the average Australian spends around $1600 per year on gambling, while the average slot-machine player reaches $2400! No wonder then why there are almost 200.000 pokies around Australia, more than half being found in New South Wells. Being a big league player, you absolutely love the slots and their 90% returns...if you're lucky!
Lotteries, Keno and Pools- and all variances - are, by far, the most popular form of gambling throughout Australia. However, theyonline-gambling-addict.jpgre often overlooked due to a simple, yet crucial fact: they account for the least expenditure. While around 34% of the population participates in these games, the total, average gambling expenditure is 12%, as opposed to pokies who go as high as 50%! The only exception to the rule is Western Australia, where slot-machines are banned and the numbers go as high as 20%. The figures perfectly show the quality vs. quantity issue and it's obvious that even though lotteries are popular and most aussies try their luck on them, it's the excitement and prospect of winning big and fast of the slot-machines that boil the blood.
Who are the main gamblers and what are the dangers of gambling?
So, now that you know some numbers, which may or may not make sense, it's time to choose your poison. It's an important thing to mention that while 70% of the Australians do gamble, only 44% of the 18 to 24 year olds do. This might mean the youths are more aware of the path they are about to walk on, are first of all focused on building a career and then spending their hard-earned money, or might not mean anything at all. However, statistics rarely lie and there are important conclusions to be pulled from this piece of info. One of them is that older people tend to be more attracted to gambling, especially compulsive gambling, due to its nature of "zoning out".
Statistically speaking, a problem gambler spends over $11.000 per year and tends to sit at the pokies and play several hours a day, sometimes with brief interruptions, often with none. This is why the main subjects to these dangers are older people with lots of spare time that often live alone and are retired. However, the good news is that there are many programs available for everyone and you should never, ever be tempted to play more than you can handle. Beware of the dark journey ahead!
So, can I start playing or what?
Well, anxious are we? No wonder, since studies show that aussies like to spend more on gambling - over $17/week - than they do on petrol - around $15/week - or alcohol - $10/week. They only spend a tiny bit more on clothes, which barely win this with $18/week. So feel free to go out, experience the thrill, try your luck and come home with your pockets full. That is, after you buy some new clothes or a fancy suit! Statistically speaking.