Australia has been a gambling stronghold for many years. In no other country in the world do people statistically lose more money per capita than in the sparsely populated southern hemisphere country. So it’s no longer a secret that Australia has a massive gambling problem. But how do the decision-makers deal with this problem and why is there so much gambling here?
In Australia, only about 26 million people live on an area of 7,688 square kilometers. Statistically speaking, this means that only 3.3 inhabitants per square kilometer live here. For comparison: In Germany there are 236 inhabitants, i.e. over 70 times as many. Despite the fact that Australia is so sparsely populated and the distances are often very long, the country seems to have a massive problem with gambling. The “Aussies” sink many billions of Australian dollars on slot machines and other games of chance every year.
As early as September 2021, we reported that a travel agent from Australia gambled away almost USD 630,000 in the casino.
Nowhere are there more slot machines than in Australia
Many Australians play slots regularly. No wonder, then, that this is where the most slot machines per inhabitant in the world are located. The losses of the “Aussies” are enormous. Statistically, the average Australian loses 1,200 Australian dollars a year. This corresponds approximately to an amount of 765 euros. All citizens, including minors, are included. In no other country in the world do people lose as much on average from gambling as in Australia. For comparison: In Singapore, residents gamble away almost half less money per capita. Singapore is second only to Australia among the nations with high gambling losses.
In the meantime, the so-called “Pokies”, i.e. the slot machines as they are called in Australia, have become an integral part of the country’s culture. The “Aussies” are not only interested in slot machines, but also in all other games of chance. Horse racing, for example, is particularly popular in Australia. They have long been one of the most important social events “Down Under”. In May 2021, an article published on GambleJoe was about a no-cash casino in Sydney.
In total there are more than 180,000 slot machines in Australia. These can be found not only in bars and pubs, but also in “clubs” and even in community centres. For example, the fact that even the Catholic Church earns around 50 million dollars every year from poker machines and other games of chance is frightening.
Poor people are particularly affected
A recently published study by the Australian government shows that poorer sections of the population are particularly affected by uncontrolled gambling behavior and the associated consequences. It is the less affluent Australians who regularly lose a lot of money when gambling and then often slide down the social ladder. The situation is particularly devastating in a suburb of Sydney called Fairfield. Here, the average household income in 2018 was 1,222 Australian dollars per week.
Statistically, however, every person here has lost over $5,600 a year gambling. That equates to around $112 a week, or more than ten percent of household income. The government itself has so far done little to address the problem. In Europe, the efforts are much stronger. For example, in November last year we reported on the “European Safer Gambling Week 2022”.
The population in Australia currently seems to be more and more bankrupt. Government is watching as gambling industry lobbying interests collide with better player protection. It would be high time to curb gambling in the country and to better protect the population from the dangers of gambling.