The Rise of Online Gambling in Australia

Steve O Speak

The passage of the Interactive Gambling Act in 2001 was the starting point in the development of the online betting industry. The legalisation of digital platforms attracted a huge audience. According to, in 2022, the market was valued at A$4.2 billion, and by 2025 it will be worth A$5.5 billion.

The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdowns have increased interest in online entertainment. The increasing availability of high-speed internet is only strengthening the position of online gambling in the Australian market.

Understanding the size of the industry, its benefits and potential risks is important to develop strategies to protect players, optimise the benefits of the sector and mitigate negative impacts.

Scale and Dynamics of Online Gambling in Australia

According to statistics, over 1 million players from Australia regularly visit betting platforms. About 17% of them prefer casino games, another 30% prefer betting on sporting events. The average user spends about A$1,300 a year on gambling on the Internet.

Popular types of games in online gambling:

Game type Market share (%) Average age of players Male/female ratio Average annual flow rate, A$
Slots 70 35 60/40 1 200
Poker 20 30 75/25 1 500
Sports betting 10 40 80/20 1 000
Roulette 5 45 55/45 800
Blackjack 5 40 65/35 900
Bingo, lotteries, keno. 5 50 50/50 500

The level of online gambling in Australia is higher than the global average. As a result, overseas companies are seeking to obtain a licence from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to legally provide services to local players.

Geography of Participants

The distribution of interactive betting activity is closely related to Australia’s geography and socio-economic factors. Player statistics by city and state are as follows:

  • Sydney: 30 per cent;
  • Melbourne: 25 per cent;
  • Brisbane: 15 per cent;
  • Perth: 10 per cent;
  • Adelaide: 8 per cent.

In rural areas, interest in digital games is traditionally lower, but experts note stable growth. This once again confirms the trend towards expanding the geography of online gambling.

Among the main factors influencing the spread of gambling are:

  • Internet accessibility;
  • Increasing income levels among the population;
  • Historical loyalty to gaming.

Table of player distribution by state in Australia:

Staff Percentage of players
New South Wales (NSW) 35%
Victoria (VIC) 30%
Queensland (QLD) 20%
Western Australia (WA) 10%
South Australia (SA) 5%

This distribution of play activities emphasises the different cultural and socio-economic aspects of the different states of the country.

Demographic Portrait of Players

Analysing player demographics is key to understanding the structure of the gaming community in Australia. To better understand who participates in online gaming, it is worth considering:

  • Age. The average age is 35 years old. The largest share is for users between 25 and 34 years old (30 per cent), followed by the 35-44 and 18-24 year old groups at 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
  • Gender. Men dominate online gambling, making up 60 per cent of the total audience.
  • Income. The average annual expenditure on gambling is A$1,200. Moreover, 50% of players have average income, 30% have high income, and another 20% have low income.

Pros & Cons of Online Gambling

Online gambling is a unique combination of convenience, excitement and the risks associated with psychological addiction to the game. To understand the peculiarities of the industry, let’s consider its advantages and disadvantages:

👍 Convenience Betting platforms operate around the clock, providing access to games regardless of the user’s location
👍 Accessibility The games are available on a variety of devices including computers, tablets and smartphones
👍 Wide range of products Unlike land-based casinos, virtual platforms offer up to 15,000 games – from roulette to progressive jackpots
👍 Unique Games Constant updating of the Toy Library and the emergence of entertainment formats keep the target audience interested
👍 Incentive bonuses Online platform users have access to promotions that offer welcome bonuses, freespins, cashback, and real money
👍 Anonymity


Data privacy increases the appeal of online gaming to certain categories of users
👍 Demo mode Test versions of the machines allow you to familiarise yourself with the games and hone your skills without material risks
👎 Risk of gambling addiction Easy access to online betting risks loss of self-control and gambling addiction
👎 Losses Online gambling simplifies the betting process, which can lead to excessive and unintended costs
👎 Fraud There is a risk of encountering dishonest online casinos, data theft, or financial scams

Prospects for Online Gambling in Australia

The future of online gambling in Australia and beyond seems promising given the continuous technological advancements and changes in social norms. The growing availability of the internet and mobile devices promises further expansion of the market.

Development Forecasts

The industry is expected to grow steadily at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6% from 2023 to 2028. In just 4 years, its revenue will reach A$146.44 billion. Further transformation of the sphere will be supported by the development of mobile technologies, legalisation of online gambling in new regions.

New Technologies

The integration of new technologies increases the attractiveness of gaming products and the security of online betting:

  • Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) are tools that enable interactive interaction with the digital world. With their help, you can experience the atmosphere of a real casino without leaving home.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the key to personalising the gaming experience. It can tailor games and bonuses to the user’s preferences. Moreover, AI can serve as a tool for responsible gaming by detecting signs of problematic gaming behaviour.
  • Blockchain technology is a guarantee of transparency in online gambling. It ensures secure transactions and fair gambling results.

Questions about the social and ethical impact of online gambling remain open. On the one hand, gambling helps to diversify leisure time, but on the other hand, it increases the risks of addiction and financial loss. Responsible gambling is a critical factor in shaping the future of the industry, striking a balance between meeting the needs and protecting the well-being of players.

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