Gambling activity in Australia

Current project

National trends in gambling participation, expenditure and problems are examined in this project.

Findings from wave 15 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.

Background

Gambling is a common activity in Australia. Most adults participate at least once a year (around 64%). The amount spent is substantial. In 2014-15, Australians gambled $191 billion and lost $22.7 billion across the range of available activities. This equates to $1,242 spent for every person aged 18 and over. It means that, per capita, Australian adults are the largest spenders on gambling in the world, at around double the average of other Western countries.

Gambling can have serious repercussions for individuals, their families and society as a whole. An estimated 8% or 1.4 million Australians experience one or more gambling problems annually. The impact of these problems on Australian society (i.e. the burden of harm) is of a magnitude approaching that of depressive disorder and alcohol misuse and dependence.

About the project

The project identifies for the first time, how many Australians gamble regularly, on what products, who they are, their typical expenditure, what proportion of their household income this constitutes, and how many are problem gamblers.

This knowledge is fundamental to monitoring national gambling activity, developing and evaluating harm reduction policy and regulation, and efficiently investing resources into relevant public health strategies and services.

Related publications

Armstrong, A. R., & Carroll, M. (2018). Poker activity in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Armstrong, A. R., & Carroll, M. (2017). Sports betting in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Armstrong, A.R., & Carroll, M. (2017). Gambling activity in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies

Armstrong, A. R., & Carroll, M. (2017). Race betting in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Armstrong, A.R., Thomas, A., & Abbott, M. (2017). Gambling participation, expenditure and risk of harm in Australia, 1997-98 and 2010-11Journal of Gambling Studies, 0, 1-20, DOI 10.1007/s10899-017-9708-0

Researchers

Duration

Ongoing

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