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Research Shows Fewer Australians Gambled in 2018

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The number of Australian gamblers has been decreasing. Not only was there a notable decrease in the number of Australian gamblers from 2017 to 2018, but the ten-year drop was significant.

In December 2018, the Gambling Currency Report revealed that 64.7% of Australian adults (18 years of age and older) gambled in an average three-month period. As of December 2018, however, that has fallen to only 47.9%, a nearly-17% drop.

The report breaks down the numbers by age and gambling categories. The numbers are based on in-depth, face-to-face interviews with more than 50,000 consumers each year. There is also more detailed questioning conducted with more than 7,000 consumers per year, all in the construction of the Gambling Currency Report that has been covering long-term gambling trends since 2002.

Lottery Drops Most but Remains Most Popular

The main purpose of the most recent report is to show changes in the habits of Australian gamblers over the past decade, from 2008 through 2018. Overall, that number dropped from 64.7% of the population (approximately 10.5 million people) gambling in an average three-month period as of December 2008 to just 47.9% (approximately 9.3 million) as of December 2018.

To dive deeper, it’s important to look at the various types of gambling examined: lottery/scratch tickets, poker machines, betting, keno, and casino table games.

The category that took the steepest dive was lottery/scratch tickets, falling from 56.4% in 2008 to 40.1% in 2018. That 16.3% drop is large. Nevertheless, lottery/scratch ticket participation still remains the most popular form of gambling by a large percentage.

Here are all of the changes in the past decade:

  • Lottery/scratch tickets: 56.4% in 2008 to 40.1% in 2018 (16.3% decrease)
  • Poker machines: 25.6% in 2008 to 13.7% in 2018 (11.9% decrease)
  • Betting: 15.3% in 2008 to 9.4% in 2018 (5.9% decrease)
  • Keno: 8.2% in 2008 to 5.1% in 2018 (3.1% decrease)
  • Casino table games: 3.8% in 2008 to 2.5% in 2018 (1.3% decrease)

Of course, lottery and scratch tickets are the most available form of gambling in Australia overall. Meanwhile, casinos are the least prevalent, making table games that much more inaccessible.

Young People Gambling Less and Less

The chart details the age groups of Australians who have admitted to gambling in recent three-month periods. It subsequently shows a fairly steady decline since 2008. And the younger the age group, the less likely they are to gamble.

The age group with the highest affinity for gambling is 50-64, which was the case in 2008 and 2018. And the group with the sharpest decline in the past decade is the youngest, with people from 18-24 gambling dropping by 26.1% in the past 10 years.

Here are all of the age groups and their changes:

  • 18-24: 51.8% in 2008 to 25.7% in 2018 (26.1% decrease)
  • 25-34: 56.8% in 2008 to 37.5% in 2018 (19.3% decrease)
  • 35-49: 68.2% in 2008 to 46.4% in 2018 (21.8% decrease)
  • 50-64: 71.8% in 2008 to 61% in 2018 (10.8% decrease)
  • 65 and over: 65.9% in 2008 to 57.8% in 2018 (8.1% decrease)

It seems that younger people have less access to some forms of gambling. That therefore cuts down on the likelihood of their participation in any of it. Those in older categories, who have likely been gambling for longer portions of their lives, seem more likely to keep it in their lives in some form as they age. Older age groups are less likely to stop gambling altogether.

Conclusions

The Gambling Currency Report is published by Roy Morgan. The company’s Industry Communications Director, Norman Morris, commented on this report:

“The fact that less Australians of all ages are gambling, in a market with an increasing number of gambling options, is likely to be as a result of it falling out of favour as it competes with a proliferation of other entertainment and leisure activities. Increasing warnings and publicity given to potential gambling problems may also discourage participation.”

Australian Gamblers Report Nearly 20 Years Old

The Gambling Currency Report is compiled and published by Roy Morgan, as has been happening on an annual basis since 2002. It provides an overview of the gambling industry by comparing various factors with its three main components, identified as gaming, wagering, and lottery/scratch tickets.

Besides participation, other factors considered in the report are cross-category participation, internet usage, participation by venue, gender, state of origin, and annual spend per player.

The full Gambling Currency Report can be purchased from Roy Morgan, as can specific breakdowns for each category of gambling. Demographics are further deciphered and organised for detailed views of the gambling industry in a 10-year period.