Mobile betting on the rise, but overall betting down: Roy Morgan

Australians are increasingly using mobile devices to place bets, however, there are fewer punters taking bets overall compared to six years ago, said a report from research firm Roy Morgan.

The results were published in the latest edition of the Roy Morgan Gambling Currency Report, which delves into Australian gambling habits including analysis of betting, poker machines, casino table games, keno, lotteries and scratchies.

According to the report, in the twelve months ended March 2018, some 3.4 million Australians placed a bet on a sporting event, horse racing, harness, greyhound racing or an even, down from 3.7 million Australians in 2012.

When it came to online betting (which includes mobile betting), the results saw 34.1 percent of Australians using the internet to place bets, double that of 15.7 percent from six years ago.

“The growth is clearly being driven by the increasing use of mobile phones to place bets,” said Roy Morgan in a press release. “Now over a fifth of Australian bettors, (or 22.7 percent) use their mobile phone compared to only 5.6 percent in 2012. This is a more than four-fold increase over the past six years.”

Australians using computers to place bets has remained unchanged from the prior period.

The report also discusses the main front-runners in Australia’s online betting landscape.

“Nearly a fifth of Australians who bet, 17.9 percent, place bets via a Tabcorp Holdings online betting site.”

Coming in second, Sportsbet.com.au is used by 12.9 percent of Australians who bet, while 6 percent use CrownBet, which own the William Hill, SportingBet, Tom Waterhouse, Centrebet and Betfair.com.au brands.

“Australia’s betting industry has undergone significant change in recent years. The merger between Tabcorp.com.au and Tatts group late in 2017 has created a gambling behemoth, irreverent Sportsbet.com.au has been bought by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair and in March this year Canadian gaming company The Stars Group bought 80 percent of Crownbet which has several well-known online betting sites including William Hill,” said Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan.

“Increasingly these bets are being placed through smartphones. Now 22.7 percent of Australians who bet placed a bet via a smartphone compared to only 5.6 percent in 2012.”

“What is clear from these figures though is that a majority of Australians who bet still don’t bet via the Internet. Over two-fifths of Australians who bet have not used the Internet to place a bet and these are the key market companies offering online betting need to target to grow their revenue.