Online gambling’s booming popularity in Australia

Online gambling

There’s an old joke that Australians can’t watch two flies crawling up a wall without placing bets on which will be first to the top. Like most clichés, it is based in truth. Australians spend more than 20 billion dollars per year on gambling. That equates to around $1000 per person, a significantly higher spend per capita than any other nation.  

Slots and video poker terminals, or “pokies” as they are known, are a regular sight in bars, cafes and truck stops. Furthermore, Australians are also famous for their love of sport. That extends to betting on it as well as participating and watching on TV.  

The rise of online gambling 

Over the past decade, we have become accustomed to doing things online that we used to do in person, from shopping to banking to chatting with friends. That trend accelerated dramatically during the unprecedented events of 2020. Gambling is no exception, and online casinos, poker rooms and sports betting sites have been a global phenomenon in recent years, with new ones arriving on the scene practically every day.  

Unsurprisingly, Australia has been an important target for online betting operators. A $20 billion per year market is not one to be treated lightly. A look at shows just a few of the online casino platforms that are actively pitching their services at Australian gamblers.  

Online gambling has rapidly captured the imaginations of Australian casino gamers and sports betting enthusiasts. Research conducted by analytics firm AlphaBeta showed an incredible 67 percent rise in online gambling participation in Australia between March 2020 and March 2022.  

Easy access and big rewards 

There are several reasons for the rise of online gambling in Australia. The most obvious is convenience. Australia is a big place, and while most of the population is concentrated in the major cities, plenty of people live in more remote areas that might be several hours drive from the nearest casino or betting shop.  

Another factor driving gamblers online is the potential rewards. We all know the old saying that the house always wins, and every game has a house edge to ensure the casino is profitable. However, operating an online casino involves far lower costs and overheads that running a bricks and mortar facility. The result is that online casinos can successfully operate at far lower margins, passing those savings on to gamers in bigger jackpots, more generous bonuses and so on. 

The other major advantage of an online betting facility is greater choice. Sports books can offer innovative services like in-play betting, where you can place bets on a game or race even after it has started. Casinos can offer players hundreds of slots and scores of table games, far more that would physically fit in a land-based casino.  

Online casinos are here to stay 

The Australian regulators are still not in favor of online casinos, and domestic gambling companies are prohibited from offering them. However, offshore platforms continue to offer their services and more Australian gamblers are spending money with them as every year passes.