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 December 2019, the latest set of statistics covers 2017–2018 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 35th 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 increased nationally and in Victoria between 2016–2017 and 2017–2018.
The average loss per adult in Victoria in 2017–2018 was $1163 and the average loss per adult in Australia was $1292. 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 2017–2018, in both Australia ($12.52 billion) and Victoria ($2.69 billion). Australian adults lost an average of $650 on pokies and Victorian adults lost an average of $539.
Sports betting resulted in the largest percentage increase in losses in 2017–2018. Compared to the previous year, sports betting losses rose by 16.3 per cent in Australia and 13.5 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 increased by nearly 50 per cent 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 2017–2018, 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 increased in 2017–2018, rising by 5 per cent in Australia and by 3.1 per cent in Victoria. This is a reversal of decreases recorded in 2016–2017.
Casino losses (table games and pokies) increased significantly in 2017–2018, rising by 6.5 per cent in Australia and by 14 per cent in Victoria. This is a reversal of decreases recorded in 2016–2017.