New Report Links One in Three Australian Bets to Addiction

One-third of the total bets on sports in Australia come from individuals struggling with gambling addiction, according to a recent survey.

One in 10 Australian bettors are problem gamblers, the report revealed.

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The Alliance for Gambling Reform has published the findings of the latest Roy Morgan polling of Australian betting habits to commemorate the first anniversary of a landmark parliamentary report that called for a ban on online gambling ads.

According to the study, the number of people wagering on sports in Australia has doubled over the past five years. Of 16,000 Australians surveyed, 15.5%, equivalent to about 3.26 million individuals, had wagered on sports in the 12 months leading up to March. The figure represents a significant increase from the 7% of Australians reported to have bet on sport between April 2019 and March 2020.

The survey also found that nearly 20% of customers registered with certain sports betting companies were classified as problem gamblers.

These are huge numbers and they highlight how a predatory online gambling industry is ensnaring a whole new generation into gambling. We know that last year, there were over a million gambling ads bombarding our screens. We have to stop this.

Martin ThomasInterim Chief Executive at Alliance for Gambling Reform

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1 in 10 Australians are Problem Gamblers

Roy Morgan's polling also employed the Problem Gambling Severity Index since January 2023 to classify respondents into four groups: no problem, low risk, moderate risk, and problem gamblers.

The study revealed that nearly 337,000 Australian bettors (one in 10) are problem gamblers. However, this group accounts for a disproportionate 34% of the total bet value in the country.

Furthermore, another 17% of bettors, around 544,000 Australians, are considered to be at moderate risk of gambling-related issues.

Many Australian Teens Gamble Before 18

This trend follows a related report released by the ANU, Australian National University, in March. The research revealed that sports betting and loot boxes in video games are the most popular gambling options among young adults in Australia.

It also found that most youths start gambling before turning the legal age of 18.

The research was led by ANU Associate Professor Aino Suomi and involved interviews with 38 individuals aged 18 to 25 about their online gambling behavior.

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