“… my morals went out the door. It was all about the pokies … and I lost everything.” Julia
Australians spent $19 billion on gambling in 2009 and 62% of this money was fed into poker machines.
Approximately 4% (600,000) of the adult Australian population plays poker machines at least weekly. These weekly players spend an average of $8,000 a year, which is a considerable amount of household income.
From this group, there are about 95,000 people who are considered ‘problem gamblers’. These people, on average, lose an estimated $21,000 a year.
People playing poker machines face more risks to their health, emotional wellbeing and hip pocket than other gamblers. The more often they play, the greater the risks. For every problem gambler up to 10 more people – family, children, friends, and colleagues – suffer.
‘Australians lose around $800 million on online gambling websites each year’ Nick Xenophon.
The growth of the internet has had an impact on the gambling industry over the past 10 years. You can buy, sell and post all sorts of information online with just a click of a button. Although online gambling is now fast becoming a growing form gambling in Australia, we are still yet to decide to what degree we allow it here.
The main differences between online gambling and venue based gambling are the accessibility and convenience it provides. Online gambling is available 24 hours a day, while venue based gambling is not. There are only 13 casinos in Australia, while there are over 2,000 sites people can gamble on overseas. Online gambling can increase accessibility to problem gamblers.
Online gambling can be divided into two types: online wagering and online gaming; with both accessible through a computer, phone and TV. Online wagering includes betting on sports and on events such as reality TV game shows. Online gaming involves casino games such as poker and roulette.