The second national study of interactive gambling in Australia 2019-20

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13 October 2021

The second national study of interactive gambling in Australia (2019-20)

About the study

This study was commissioned by Gambling Research Australia and partly funded by the Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF), to examine changes in online gambling behaviours and attitudes among Australians aged 18 years and over since the first national Interactive Gambling Study in 2011-12.

The methodology

The study used a mix of research methods, including:

  • a review of relevant Australian and international literature
  • an environmental scan of policy interventions for online gambling
  • a national telephone survey with 15,000 Australian adults
  • a national online survey with 5,019 Australian adults recruited through online panels
  • longitudinal cohort study of 437 respondents followed up from the 2012 online survey
  • interviews with 49 online gamblers
  • analysis of Gambling Help service data.

Key findings

  • Gambling participation overall in Australia declined from 64.3% in 2010/11 to 56.9% in 2019, but the prevalence of online gambling has doubled from 8.1% to 17.5%. In NSW online gambling more than doubled from 7.8% to 17.8%.
  • People most likely to be online gamblers were male, younger, more educated and living in a de facto relationship.
  • Lotteries are the most common form of online gambling (10.1%), followed by race betting (5.9%) and sports betting (5.8%).
  • Online gamblers were more likely to be classified as problem gamblers (3.9%) compared to gamblers who do not gamble online (1.4%).
  • People who gambled online experienced harm at over twice the rate of other gamblers - 34% compared to 15.6%. However, online gamblers commonly participate in multiple forms of gambling in person and online. They mostly nominated electronic gaming machines – or ‘pokies’ as the source of this gambling harm. This suggests that online gambling is attractive to people who are already at high risk.
  • Online gamblers report spending just over half their gambling expenditure betting via smart phone devices.
  • More than half (51.1%) of online gamblers who had seen gambling promotions (like sign up bonuses or money-back guarantees) agreed that their betting had increased as a result.
  • Individual online consumer protection tools and measures were only being used by a minority of online gamblers.
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