Expenditure on gambling in Victoria and Australia
Every year the Queensland Government releases Australian Gambling Statistics, a comprehensive set of data on legal gambling products in Australia. It works with all state and territory governments to compile this information.
Released in October 2018, the latest set of statistics covers 2016–2017 and looks at products like pokies, casino games, race betting, sports betting and lotteries. Data includes total turnover, total losses, per adult turnover, per adult losses, percentage change in turnover and losses each year, market share of each gambling product and government revenue collected from gambling taxes.
It is the 34th edition of the publication. The statistics have been released annually since 1984, so we can see how gambling spend has changed in both Australia and Victoria over time.
Total gambling losses decreased nationally and in Victoria between 2015–2016 and 2016–2017.
The average loss per adult in Victoria in 2016–2017 was $1121 and the average loss per adult in Australia was $1251. These amounts are calculated at population level. However, we know a significant percentage of the population does not gamble. The average loss per participating adult would therefore be much higher than these figures.
Pokies continued to result in higher losses than other gambling products in 2016–2017, in both Australia ($12.14 billion) and Victoria ($2.61 billion). Australian adults lost an average of $641 on pokies and Victorian adults lost an average of $534.
Sports betting resulted in the largest percentage increase in losses in 2016–2017. Compared to the previous year, sports betting losses rose by 15.3 per cent in Australia and 16.6 per cent in Victoria.
Sports betting losses are still low compared to other gambling products, but continue to increase significantly each year. Average losses per Victorian adult have nearly doubled in the past five years.
The figures for Victoria only show player losses recorded at Victorian TABs or with bookmakers licenced in this state. Bets placed with online bookmakers licenced outside Victoria are not recorded as Victorian losses. Therefore, the actual losses are likely to be higher.
In 2016–2017, race betting losses rose in Australia but fell in Victoria. It is likely Victorians are increasingly using online bookmakers licensed outside Victoria instead of Victorian TABs for race betting.
Lotto losses decreased in 2016–2017, falling by 7 per cent in Australia and by 6.7 per cent in Victoria. This is a reversal of increases recorded in 2015–2016.
Casino losses (table games and pokies) decreased significantly in 2016–2017, falling by 7.8 per cent in Australia and 16 per cent in Victoria.