Sport and race betting in Victoria
People are spending, and losing, more on sport and race betting in Victoria than ever before.
In 2020-21, Victorian sport and race bettors lost an estimated $2.33 billion, a massive increase of 42 per cent on the $1.65 billion they lost just one year earlier (2019-20).
What’s driving the increase?
Young people aged 18-24 are among the first generation to grow up with the saturation marketing of sports and race betting products. As an age group they are overrepresented when it comes to sports betting: 32 per cent of men, and 10 per cent of women in this age group participate in sports betting, and almost one-in-three sports bets are placed by young men.
Gambling advertising has become incredibly pervasive. According to NieIsen research, an average of 948 gambling ads were broadcast daily on free-to-air TV in Victoria in 2021, an increase from 374 ads each day in 2016. An average of 148 gambling ads were broadcast on free-to-air TV between 6–8.30pm every weeknight, during the evening family viewing slot.
The data also showed that the gambling industry spent $287.2 million on advertising in Australia in 2021, excluding in-stadium advertising and sponsorships, an increase of $15.9 million from 2020.
Legislation prohibits gambling ads from being shown during live sport broadcasts between 5 am and 8.30 pm, and on Victorian roads, public transport, and within 150 metres of schools. Learn more about the regulations governing gambling advertising.
Inducements and incentives are increasingly placing more people at risk of gambling harm. Multi-bets, bonus bets, rewards programs, early cash-outs, and direct messages from gambling companies are linked with increased betting expenditure, and encourage riskier betting.
Sport and race betting is increasingly happening online. In 2018, 72 per cent of sport betting was conducted online, up from 52 per cent in 2014. Gambling online is more risky. It can be done from anywhere – even the palm of your hand, at any time of day or night. There are few limits on the size or quantity of bets, and it’s easy to deposit money into betting accounts using a debit or credit card.
Find out more about our work to address the normalisation of gambling at Love the Game.
Our Be ahead of the game education program supports secondary school communities to help young people develop informed attitudes to gambling.