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Gambling in Victoria

What do Victorians gamble on?

The Foundation-funded Study of gambling and health in Victoria found lotteries were the most common form of gambling in Victoria in 2014, with just under half the adult population participating in lotteries in the preceding 12 months. This was closely followed by buying tickets in raffles, sweeps and other competitions.

One in five people bet on horse and dog racing and one in six people gambled on pokies.

Pubs and hotels were the most common venues used for gambling on pokies. Find out more about the distribution of pokies across Victoria.

Around one in 20 people bet on sports.

Changes over time – 2008 to 2014

Gambling on pokies dropped from one person in five in 2008 to one in six in 2014, with the decline greater among men than women. This downward trend has been steady since 20031, when one in three Victorian adults gambled on pokies. However, it has not been accompanied by a decline in problem gambling.

Participation in other forms of gambling rose significantly, with sports betting up by 33.3 per cent and race betting up by 25.8 per cent2 since 2008.

The increase in sports betting was mostly among men. There was also a significant increase in sports betting among people experiencing problem gambling.

The increase in race betting was mostly among women. Race betting also became more common among people aged 45 and older.

Gambling on lotteries became less common among people aged 25 to 44.

A more recent Foundation-funded study investigated the gambling attitudes and behaviours of young men who bet on sport. Of the young men surveyed, around half bet weekly or more. Of those, one in four was classified as a problem gambler. Weekly bettors were more likely to gamble on a larger number of sports, and to do so in riskier ways, including while drinking alcohol. Read more in the 2018 report: Weighing up the odds: young men, sports and betting.

1 2003 Victorian Longitudinal Community Attitudes Survey (2004)

2 The increase in race betting may be partly due to a change in the survey question in 2014, which included the Spring Racing Carnival in the definition of race betting.

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