Aussies Gambling Less as Mobile Gambling Skyrockets

Independent Australian Research firm Roy Morgan recently released findings on their latest gambling study which reveals gambling numbers across Australia have declined drastically over the last decade. Total gambling among those of legal age has dropped by 16.8%. One interesting finding in the study is the dramatic increase in mobile gambling. Nearly five times as many people now gamble online via mobile devices as opposed to just six years ago.

Gambling Numbers Declining Across the Nation

Roy Morgan issued a press release on Friday announcing some of the findings from their latest ‘Single Source‘ survey. The survey is based on interviews with over 50,000 consumers along with in-depth questionnaires of over 7,000 Aussie gamblers. The data is current through December 2018.

The report initially revealed that gambling amongst Australians 18 and over had declined sharply in the last decade. At the end of 2008, approximately 64.7% of Kiwis gambled compared to 47.9% today. That’s a 16.8% decline over the previous decade.

Breaking down the numbers, the Lottery had the sharpest decline, down 16.3% over the last decade. Pokies were a close second with an 11.9% decline. Keno gambling declined 3.1% over the last decade while casino table games fell just 1.3%.

An interesting statistic of the report was that it showed gambling as being less popular with younger people. Gambling amongst those 18 to 24 dropped from 51.8% in 2008 to just 25.7% in 2018, a sharp 26.1% decline. The elderly showed the lowest level of decline, down only 8.1% over the last decade.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director at Roy Mogan spoke about the overall decline, stating, “The fact that less Australians of all ages are gambling, in a market with an increasing number of gambling options, is likely to be as a result of it falling out of favour as it competes with a proliferation of other entertainment and leisure activities. Increasing warnings and publicity given to potential gambling problems may also discourage participation.”

Mobile Gambling Grows Five Fold Over Last Six Years

Morris also commented about the growth of mobile gaming during the press release, stating that over a quarter of people now bet over a mobile device. Just six years ago, only 5.3% of the population gambled over a mobile device. That number has jumped five-fold to 27.4%.

Morris further commented, stating, “Although the use of this new technology to place a bet would be expected to attract more young people to bet, this research shows that this is not the case as they have had the biggest declines.”

Although not stated, there are multiple reasons for the growth in mobile gambling. The main reason being that more people have switched to mobile devices for the majority of their online activities. Mobile devices have drastically hampered PC sales, with the trend expected to continue.

Glaring Omission in Report

The report points to the increase in the number of players gambling online. However, it doesn’t mention part of the reason that overall gambling numbers are declining. Online gambling is presently illegal under Australian law with casinos not permitted to operate online casinos in the country. Any company in Australia that has an off-shore online casino site is prohibited from advertising their product to Kiwi gamblers.

Knowing the laws of the land, many citizens choose to play it safe and avoid gambling online. This relegates them to brick and mortar establishments only, and many citizens do not live close enough to a casino to make gambling viable.

Australian online gambling laws are certainly a factor in the overall decline in total gambling. Should online gambling in Australia become regulated in the future, we will likely see total gambling numbers rise as legal and regulated online gambling becomes available to all.