Western Australia registers record gambling revenue of US$1.6bn

The record figure was reached despite temporary closures of land-based venues.
The record figure was reached despite temporary closures of land-based venues.

The Racing and Wagering authority in Western Australia has reported record gambling revenue for the last financial year.

Australia.- Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with several lockdowns and social distancing restrictions on casinos, Western Australia’s gambling revenue reached a record AU$2.4bn (US$1.6bn) for the last financial year. Lotterywest’s sales reached a record US$1bn, while mobile gambling through WA TAB also saw an increase in sales.

About half of TAB’s revenue in Western Australia came from more than 300 land-based gaming shops, but its mobile gaming business increased by 40 per cent, while the growth rate of mobile phone users was just 12 per cent. Race betting increased by 17 per cent to US$2.72bn in the 2020/2021 financial year.

The rise came as Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) increased funding for marketing and promotional activities by nearly a quarter (22 per cent) to more than AU$34m (US$$24.2m). At the same time, the state’s funding for problem gambling support, education and treatment fell by 15 per cent to less than AU$800,000 (US$567,000).

See also: WA authorities question differences between pokies and EGMs

Melanie Every, head of the Financial Counsellors’ Association of Western Australia, expressed her concerns regarding the increase in gambling revenue despite a decline in the number of gamblers. Experts have highlighted a limited number of professional consultants in Western Australia when compared to other states. 

WA TAB made a profit of US$264m from betting in 2020-21, a historical peak. When compared with the previous peak in 2013-204, the figure increased by US$35m. It was also US$64 million higher than the figure for 2019-2020.

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