Australia is a country where gambling is fully legalised. Every year the inhabitants of the country spend more than 6 000 000 in casinos. It is about 500 USD per person. Gambling has become so popular in Australia that almost 80% of all adults in the country are involved in some form of the activity. This is one of the highest rates in the world. According to AlphaBeta, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the average weekly gambling expenditure of Australians increased by 300% compared to the pre-lockdown period.
Results of analytical studies show that the majority of Australian gamblers prefer to play at online sites, which can be reviewed by BestAuCasinosOnline. Next on the list are slot machines located outside the specialised gambling establishments. There are hundreds of pubs in Australia that have slot machines. A total of several thousand slot machines of various models are at the service of users.
In third place are elite land-based casinos. Today the country officially operates more than 400 licensed gambling outlets, including land-based casinos, casinos on cruise ships, racetracks and so on.
The Australian landscape
Australians are widely considered to be the gambling nation in the world. Australians spend as much as $1300 per citizen per year on that, numbers that are the highest in the world. It should also be noted that Australia has the highest concentration of slot machines.
There are currently more than a dozen casinos in the state. Australians' gambling habits are not homogenous; instead, they're a patchwork of online sports betting, poker, casinos and slot machines. Tradition and habit plus legal elements have led to differences in the popularity of particular gambling offerings.
The Productivity Commission's 2020 review has revealed some worrying statistics about how the gambling industry is growing in Australia:
There are at least 6,500 different establishments offering some form of gambling. These include cafes and restaurants.
At least 4,700 lotteries can be found throughout the country.
There are thirty casinos nationwide, but several additional facilities have recently been planned.
The number of slot machines is quite difficult to calculate. Such machines have spread across the country, in every state. In fact, there are about 200,000 slot machines across Australia. Moreover, about 800,000 people play one of these machines at least once a week. This represents about 8% of the adult population. We review online casinos with slot machines for casino players from the UK on our BestAuCasinosOnline site.
The birth of gambling in Australia
The first recorded event related to the beginnings of gambling in Australia dates back to 1810. It was a horse racing meet held at Hyde Park in Sydney.
The first lottery was organised in 1880, and the first slot machines appeared in clubs and pubs in the 1950s. It was then that the Australian gambling industry began to take notice.
The love of horse racing betting was instilled in Australians by the English. While no precise date could be given, it's fair to say that as long as there has been sport, people in Australia will still be wagering.
If one compares online gambling to casinos and betting, it's worth noting that this is a relatively new pastime, but a favourite of the inhabitants of the green continent.
The emergence of the first gambling website revolutionised the industry. The first online casino was created in the 90s and has not lost its popularity since then.
Australia's most popular gambling activities
Land-based casinos and best Australian online casino in Australia gamblers play roulette, card games such as blackjack and baccarat. These are also the games favoured by online casino patrons. Craps has its own place among the Australian gambling preferences. Apart from that, there are also poker, lotteries and sports betting, which rank 5th, 6th and 7th respectively.
Apart from traditional gambling activities, the Australians have also invented some outlandish ones. For example, games such as crabbing, camel racing or guinea pig racing are popular. However, such 'competitions' have remained illegal despite the affection of the citizens.
Australian Sparkle is Australia's national game of chance and requires only two pennies. The game involves guessing which side each coin will fall on. There's even a special day on April 25th for gambling in pubs and clubs around the country.
How much gambling contributes to the state treasury
Government revenues from gambling in Australia vary from state to state, but the average is 10% of the budget. In Victoria, where gambling is most popular, it generates 13% of the state's revenue each year. In contrast, gambling royalties are only 4% of Western Australia's revenue. This is due to the fact that many types of games are still illegal here. Player winnings are not taxed in Australia.
Operators have to keep an eye on the legislation of each particular state as taxation varies from state to state. Tax rates for different types of gambling also vary. Operators pay fees when obtaining a licence, as well as tax on turnover, player loss and net profit.
The Stars Group (CrownBet and William Hill Australia's Austrian business groups) reported Q2 adjusted profit of $13.5m and gross profit of $46.8m.
What's in store for online gambling in Australia?
The history of gambling in Australia is over 300 years old. Land-based casinos have been around for a long time, steadily generating revenues for businesses and the government, and dozens of detailed laws have been drafted. But the online segment is rather underdeveloped: although the first law was passed 20 years ago, real regulation only began in 2019. However, an interesting positive trend is already visible: while at the beginning of the 21st century there was a total ban on any online casinos and betting shops in Australia on the internet, there is already licensing and the possibility of legal operation for some companies. Given the success of the land-based sector, hopefully Australian authorities will soon come to realise that banning gambling is difficult and unprofitable, and regulation is the way to make money and balance interests.