Australians are some of the most avid gamblers in the world. Ausies seem to take up the hobby with zeal and gusto unknown in other places. While casino operators have been happy with this arrangement, many academics have wondered why. Billions worth of dollars are wagered in the Australian casino, sports betting, and lottery industries annually.
By one estimate, it all boils down to clever marketing. Professor Peter Harvey, who formerly worked with the Flinders Center for Gambling Research, has been fascinated with the reason why his compatriots tend to spend so much time, money, and effort on this particular hobby. He has narrowed it down to possible several factors:
- Lack of Stigma
- Good Legal Frameworks
Gambling remains an ever so popular activity in the country, even though The New York Times has decried Australians as the world’s worst gamblers. Be that as it may, Australians do not seem to have slowed down with their zest for gambling. In fact, Tabcorp reported an increase in lottery sales – some 20% year-over-year. In fact, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said that sports betting was up 10% in the period between January and June 2021.
What Makes Gambling So Special?
One good reason to explain gambling in Australia isbluecasinos.org/bonus-co the fact that for the longest time, gambling was somewhat prohibited. It only became available to Australians in 1998. Before that, Australia’s only option for gambling was governed by the Lotteries Act of 1964. The law allowed gambling on lottery-style games, but not much else.
Things did change in 1998 with the country opening up the scope of its gambling industry. The change saw Aussies jumping to engage in, what would soon become, the nation’s new favorite pastime. For the most part, people stuck with the available retail options. However, things began to change rapidly as the internet gained prominence.
Online casino websites, that operated out of the Caribbean, began arriving in the country in droves. Some of those casinos, including Ozwin Casino, are still some of the best for Australian players. They remain incredibly popular to this day. The drawback is that the government decided that casino-style games should only be played in person. Crown Resorts and other licensed establishments had impressive profits due to this ruling.
The Interactive Act of 2001 was established to enable certain online gambling businesses to thrive while others had to retract their wings. This did not quench Australians’ appetite for gambling, however. If anything, it incentivizes them to seek more.
Gambling Is Not Stigmatized in Australia
Australia is one of those nations where gambling is not stigmatized. While many societies keep people at bay and instill feelings of guilt in them for playing games of chance, Australia has a society that is accepting of gambling. In fact, nobody really bothers going the length of vilifying the industry.
This does not mean that there are no regulators or that some of the industry’s issues are not brought up frequently. It just means that when you finally bring up your gambling habit with your social group there is not a meaningful pause that feels like being judged.
Australians are accepting of each other’s ways and they don’t mind gamblers. This may in turn have incentivized more people to gamble, or some argue – even normalized gambling as a viable hobby, which it is.
Lower Gambling Age Than Most Countries
Gambling in Australia is actually allowed at the age of 18. This makes it a more accessible hobby than in other parts of the world. This is not necessarily linked to higher levels of gambling, but it’s another reason why it makes sense that Australians are gambling at a rate that is much higher than the rest of the world.
Another interesting fact is that Australians do not seem to play to pursue riches, but rather to have fun. They genuinely find a reason to endorse an activity and see it as a very fun and worthwhile way to enjoy themselves. That is why people in the country are more inclined to enjoy gambling as a hobby. By not frantically chasing some ephemeral victory or financial gain, Australians view their time at casinos as more general leisure time.
The lower gambling age also means that more people can try gambling legally at an earlier age. Instead of turning to illegal gambling websites, their first experiences are regulated and fair. The idea of having 18 as the right edge for this activity was established in statute. The government realized that the prevalence and appeal of the activity would breed a black market unless consumers are given the legal options. Safe and reliable gaming environments are the goal of casino regulation in the first place.