We’ve mentioned time and time again that when it comes to gambling, no countries do it bigger or better than Australia. This is the biggest gambling country on earth, and if you look at the statistics regarding gambling in Australia, there are a few intriguing finds.
Stemming from “video poker machines” the word “pokies” is used to refer to all slot machines in Australia, both online and offline. It has been said that 7 out of every 10 Australians will gamble on these machines in any given year, and that 1 out of 6 of those gamblers will develop a gambling addiction.
Of the total money spent on gambling, which averages about $20 billion a year, 60% goes on pokies alone, which is astonishing when you consider just how many other forms of gambling are available in this country. Pokies are by far the favorite way to gamble. It has been that way for some time and it looks like these machines are getting even more popular, taking an even bigger share of the pie.
Nothing is without its issues, and gambling is no different. Unfortunately, it’s not a harmless and enjoyable thing for everyone, and there are some who take it too far, some for whom gambling is a major issue. Reports suggest that as many as half a million Australians are at risk of developing serious problems as a result of a gambling addiction, which is a higher proportion of the population than you will find in any other country.
You might think that gambling addiction is harmless, that it gives more money to the government if anything, but in fact it has been suggested that the social cost of gambling amounts to an average of $5 billion every year. This is because it is said that the actions of one problem gambler affects between 5 and 10 other people, including friends, family, employers, employees and more.
Perhaps more surprisingly, only 15% of problem gamblers ever seek help, which is considerably lower than the number of alcoholics or drug addicts that reach out.
State by State
Gambling habits and losses differ depending on which state you are in. For example, the biggest action seems to be centered around New South Wales, where the average losses per player is $3,700. In Victoria it isn’t a great deal less, coming in at $3,100, but in Queensland, where there are more restrictions placed on gambling and pokies in particular, the averages losses per player is just $1,800.
The last major count of pokies in Australia was in 2009, when it was reported that there were a fraction under 200,000 of these machines nationwide. As alluded to above, the majority of these are in New South Wales, and it has been said that each of these machines can make as much as $60,000 in a single year, with the average revenue per gaming venue as high as $2,1 million per year.