Gambling activity in Australia
The statistics in this Appendix are intended to provide points of comparison between the HILDA Survey data and recent Australian gambling surveys.
Table 7.1 shows the past year participation rates reported in the most recent state and national gambling prevalence studies, alongside the monthly participation rates surveyed in the HILDA Survey.
Comparison with the two national gambling surveys suggests that the monthly gamblers identified in the HILDA Survey represented approximately 60% of Australians who gambled in the past year. Around two-thirds of past-year lottery participants were represented, indicating that most buy tickets on a regular basis. Casino table gaming was an occasional event for most, with only 15% of past-year participants represented in the HILDA Survey. Between 30-40% of past-year participants in all other activities appear likely to be regular gamblers.
Notes: Excluding HILDA, all participation rates refer to past-year activity. Reference notations in table. Reference acronyms.
Sources: a Dowling et al., 2016; b Hing et al. 2014; c Sproston et al., 2012; d Hare, 2015; e Office of Economic and Statistical Research, 2012; f The Social Research Centre, 2013; g ACIL Allen Consulting et al., 2014; h Davidson et al., 2016; i Stevens et al., 2017.
Table 7.2 shows monthly participation rates reported by three Australian state and territory surveys. These are the only surveys to provide monthly participation statistics, and cover the smallest Australian jurisdictions. They nevertheless provide some points of comparison with the national monthly participation rates derived from the HILDA Survey. They illustrate the variability in activity participation between these jurisdictions and Australia as a whole.
Notes: na - not available. a calculated from data presented in report. b Any monthly gambling participation.
Sources: ACIL Allen Consulting et al., 2014; Davidson et al., 2016; Stevens, 2017.
Table 7.3 shows mean participant past-year expenditure by activity, derived from the HILDA Survey and the Tasmanian and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) prevalence surveys. These were the only Australian surveys to provide mean gambling expenditure statistics at the time of writing. As would be expected, the HILDA Survey estimates, which reflect the mean expenditure of regular gamblers, are much higher than the estimates from these two studies, which reflect the mean expenditure of those who gambled at least once in the past year.
Notes: na - not available. a Mean spend per gambler (any participation in past year). HILDA Survey values based on weighted data and capped expenditure. All values expressed in 2015 dollars.
Sources: ACIL Allen Consulting et al., 2014; Davidson et al., 2016.
Table 7.4 shows total past-year gambling expenditure statistics supplied by the Australian gambling industry (Queensland Government Statistician's Office 2016), alongside totals derived from the HILDA, Tasmanian and ACT self-report surveys.
The total expenditure figures reported by industry are much higher overall than the estimates derived from the self-report surveys. A contributing factor is that the industry figures reflect the total past-year expenditure of all gamblers in the respective jurisdictions including tourists, whereas the Tasmanian and ACT survey figures reflect the sum of resident gamblers' typical expenditure in the past year. The surveys therefore exclude amounts from non-residents as well as untypically high spend events or periods on each activity. The HILDA Survey figure is even further limited to the past-year expenditure of regular resident gamblers on activities that they spent money on in a typical month. The amount gambled using overseas operators is also unknown, further limiting comparisons between Australian industry and gambler expenditure.
At the activity level, all three survey-based expenditure estimates for lotteries and instant scratch tickets are much higher than the figures reported by industry, whereas the estimates for race betting, EGMs and casino table games are much lower. In the case of lotteries and instant scratch tickets, it is clear that people over-estimate their expenditure. In the case of race betting, EGMs and casino table games, the difference is likely explained by a combination of "untypical" or unplanned over-expenditure, the expenditure of infrequent gamblers, and underestimations of expenditure by survey participants.
Notes: na - not available. HILDA values based on weighted data and capped expenditure. All values expressed in 2015 dollars. a Industry EGM expenditure data includes hotel and club but not casino expenditure. b Includes gambling activities not presented separately, such as casinos and bingo.
Sources: Queensland Government Statistician's Office, 2016; ACIL Allen Consulting et al., 2014; Davidson et al., 2016.
Table 7.5 shows rates of gambling problems reported in recent Australian studies.
The HILDA Survey shows that 1.1% of Australian adults can be classified as problem gamblers. This is around twice the rate reported in most recent gambling studies. A major contributing factor is the HILDA Survey sampling frame. The HILDA Survey administers the PGSI to a population representative sample, whereas the gambling studies only administer it to people who gambled in the past year. The PGSI rates derived from the HILDA Survey therefore include people who may not have gambled in 2015, but nevertheless reported experiencing harms in 2015 associated with their prior gambling behaviour. For example, problem gambling in 2013 may have caused financial problems that stretched into 2015.
The HILDA Survey further shows that 2.1% of typical monthly gamblers could be classified as problem gamblers. This is around twice the rate among past-year gamblers reported in recent Australian surveys. This is because people with gambling problems participate more regularly than people without problems.
Notes: Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland utilised a modified five response PGSI (Never=0, Rarely=1, Sometimes=1, Often=2, Always=3).
Sources: a Dowling et al., 2016; b Hing et al., 2014; c Sproston et al., 2012; d Hare, 2015; e Office of Economic and Statistical Research, 2012; f The Social Research Centre, 2013; g ACIL Allen Consulting et al., 2014; h Davidson et al., 2016; i Stevens et al., 2017; j Monthly gamblers only.
Notes: only participants aged 18 and over are included
Notes: Only participants aged 18 and over are included