Australians have a long history of loving to gamble. 2014 and 2015 reports by The Australasian Gaming Council found that the average adult in Australia spends an average of $1,172.14 (AUD) on gambling every year. This makes Australia the place where people spend the most money on gambling in the whole world.
But what is it about gambling that makes it so appealing to Australians? Is it the rush for excitement, the challenge of outsmarting the odds, or just for fun? What's behind this love affair with gambling? Let’s take a deep look.
Reasons why Australians love to gamble so much
Here are reasons why Australians love gambling:
1. It's part of Australian culture
The history of gambling in Australia dates back to the early days of European settlement when horse racing and other forms of gambling were introduced by British colonizers. Gambling has since become a staple of Australian society, with many people growing up with a love for horse racing and other forms of gambling.
According to Alexander Blaszczynski, Professor and Director of the University of Sydney's Gambling Treatment Clinic, the high prevalence of gambling in Australia can be traced back to the country's historical tradition of gambling, dating back to the colonization of Australia by Britain in the late 18th century. This cultural connection to gambling is why it is so popular in Australia and a major reason why Australians love to gamble.
Australians have a wide variety of options when it comes to gambling, from new real money casinos and racetracks to online betting sites. Most of the pokies are located in hotels and registered clubs. For example, the Crown Casino in Melbourne and Jupiter's Casino on the Gold Coast attracted almost 11 million visitors annually. In addition to pokies and casinos, Australians also regularly engage in other forms of gambling including:
- Sports betting worth $626 million per year
- Lotteries worth $1.9 billion per year
- Racing is worth $2.8 billion per year.
This accessibility makes it easy for people to find a form of gambling that they enjoy, whether it's playing the pokies at a local pub or placing a bet on a horse race.
3. Government source of revenue
The government also plays a role in the popularity of gambling in Australia. Gambling is a significant source of revenue for the country, and the government regulates and taxes it accordingly. In 2014, the gambling businesses in Australia helped the government earn a lot of money. They made $5.44 billion dollars for the government, and most of that money came from people playing the pokies. That's about $3.18 billion dollars. This not only helps to fund important public services, but it also helps to ensure that gambling is conducted in a safe and responsible manner.
4. Form of entertainment and a way to socialize
Many Australians enjoy the thrill of a friendly wager, whether it's a game of poker with friends or a day at the races with family. Gambling can also be a way to bond and connect with others, making it an enjoyable pastime for many Australians. Some studies suggest that gambling can release endorphins and create a sense of euphoria, leading to addiction for some individuals. Gambling can be an escape from reality, a way to forget about problems, and a source of excitement and pleasure.
5. Marketing and Promotion Ads
Another factor to consider is the marketing and promotion of gambling in Australia. Gambling operators spend billions of dollars every year on advertising and promotions to entice people to try their luck. By 2014, there were 95,1783 pokies. This marketing, coupled with the easy accessibility of gambling, has led to an increase in gambling participation.
So are the reasons why Australians love to gamble. From its cultural roots to its accessibility and entertainment value, gambling has a special place in the hearts of many Australians. While it is important to remember that gambling addiction is a serious problem, for the majority of Australians gambling is a harmless and enjoyable pastime.