Australian punters lost nearly €15.49 billion, with a 30 percent growth in sports betting helping to drive a continued rise in annual gambling losses.
Australia.- Australian punters lost nearly €15.49 billion last year, with a 30 percent growth in sports betting helping to drive a continued rise in annual gambling losses.
According to New Australian Gambling Statistics data, Australians lost €835.75 per head in 2014-15, with poker machines still the biggest cause of punter losses with €7.81 billion lost, which is an increase of 4.9 percent. The annual results of all state and territory reflects that total gambler losses, hit €15.29 billion in 2014-15. This means an increase in losses of 7.7 percent compared to the previous financial year.
There has been a boom in sports betting, with the sector growing by 30.1 percent in 12 months. However, sports betting is still one of the smallest segments of the market, worth €548.18 million, whilst the poker machines segment is worth (€1.88 billion) and Lotto’s (€1.14 billion). Traditional betting on racing was the smallest growing sector at just 2.7 percent.
The continued growth of punter losses fueled the community’s concerns reigniting calls for state and federal governments to take measures to tackle problem gambling through action on sports betting advertising and poker machines.
There are also renewed calls from Senator Nick Xenophon, the Greens and Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie for poker machines reform. Alan Tudge, Human Services Minister, outlined that the rate of problem gambling in the online sector was three times that of other areas.
“Many Australians love to gamble but we have to make sure the gambling environment is a safe one – that’s why we are cracking down on illegal offshore gambling providers and introducing much strong consumer protection for online gambling,” said Tudge.