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Gambling in Victoria

How many Victorians gamble online?

About 28 per cent of all people who gamble have used the internet to do so.

Sports bettors had the highest level of online gambling activity, with 71.7 per cent of sport bettors using Australian-based apps or bookmakers, and 6.4 per cent using overseas-based apps or bookmakers. This is a sharp increase from 52 per cent in 2014. Race betting was the next most popular online gambling activity, with 34.4 per cent of race bettors having placed bets online with Australian-based apps or bookmakers.

Men were significantly more likely to place racing bets online (39 per cent of men, compared to 29 per cent of women), and were also more likely to bet on sports online (72 per cent of men, compared to 70.3 per cent of women).

Changes over time – 2014 to 2018

Popularity of gambling online has increased in the last four years, with marked increases in race and sports betting. In other categories:

  • pokies – 1.3 per cent of Victorians played pokies online in 2018, a slight decrease from 1.6 per cent in 2014
  • sports betting – of people who bet on sports, those betting online increased from 52 per cent to 71.7 per cent , a rise of 38 per cent.

Unlike other forms of gambling, it is legal for companies registered in Australia to offer and advertise sports and race betting in Australia. Increases in sports betting advertising are likely to have contributed to the rise in participation in online sports betting. Find out more about gambling advertising and its potential impact on Victorians.

It is illegal to offer or advertise online pokies and casino table games in Australia. However, ‘simulation’, or non-monetary, pokies and casino games apps are legal, and Foundation-funded research found their use may be linked to higher levels of real-money gambling. The research also shows that use of these free and unregulated apps could be placing children and adolescents at greater risk of harm from real gambling. Read more in the 2018 report: Mobile EGMs Apps – The perfect substitute or the perfect storm?

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