A two-year gambling study in Australia has revealed that the number of online gamblers has doubled in the past decade.
The Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia surveyed more than 15,000 Australians and found 17.5 percent of adults had gambled online in 2019, up from 8.1 percent in 2010.
The study, funded by Gambling Research Australia, found that overall gambling participation decreased from 64.3 percent in 2010, to 56.9 percent in 2019.
Professor Nerilee Hing, from CQUniversity’s Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, said Australia’s most popular forms of online gambling were lotteries (10.1 percent of adults), race betting (5.9 percent), and sports betting (5.8 percent).
“This growth in online gambling has been driven by faster internet speeds, the convenience of betting on smartphone apps, extensive advertising, and inducements, and new betting options like multi-bets,” Professor Hing said.
“New online activities have also been introduced, including e-sports, fantasy sports, skin gambling, and loot boxes.”
The study found the average online gambler was likely to be a young male, better educated than the average Australian, in a de facto relationship, and to gamble across multiple activities.
Overall, 9.1 percent of Australian adults experienced some level of harm from their own gambling and 6.0 percent from another person’s gambling. Online gamblers were twice as likely as land-based only gamblers to experience harm.
The findings from this study will further inform online gambling policy and consumer protection measures across Australia.