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Gambling in Victoria

How often do Victorians gamble?

In 2014, the Foundation-funded Study of gambling and health in Victoria asked Victorians how frequently they gambled.

Moderate-risk gamblers and people experiencing problem gambling participated more frequently in pokies, casino table games, race betting and sports betting than people at a lower risk of developing gambling problems. These are the types of gambling most often associated with harm – they are readily available and the short time between placing a bet and getting a result can encourage continuous gambling.

Moderate-risk gamblers and people experiencing problem gambling were also more likely to lose track of time and money when gambling than those at a lower risk of developing problems.

In 2015, YourPlay was introduced, a statewide system that enables people to keep track of the time and money they spend on pokies, and to set limits if they choose.

Changes over time – 2008 to 2014

Compared to 2008, people experiencing problem gambling in 2014 bet more frequently on:

  • pokies – up from 56.4 times a year to 87.6 times a year – a 55.4 per cent rise
  • casino table games – up from 31.1 times a year to 59.2 times a year – a 90.4 per cent rise
  • horse and dog racing – up from 67.2 times a year to 203.8 times a year – a 203.3 per cent rise.

Low-risk gamblers participated in pokies less frequently, down from 15.8 times a year in 2008 to 12.3 times a year in 2014. They also reduced their frequency of race betting from 30.6 times a year to 13.6 times a year.

A more recent Foundation-funded study explored the types of limits (frequency, expenditure) that might help reduce risk of gambling harm. Read the findings in the 2018 report on the development of empirically derived Australian responsible gambling limits.

You can also find out what Victorians thought were safe time and money limits for gambling in 2017.

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