Poker machines accounted for 60 percent of the A$16.3 billion (US$15.2 billion) spent by Australians on gambling in the 12 months to March 2014, show the latest results of the Roy Morgan Gambling Monitor, a market research company.
Australians spent about A$9.8 billion on pokies in the 12 months to March 31, well ahead of race betting and lotteries, said Roy Morgan Research.
They spent A$2.5 billion on race betting and A$1.7 billion on lotteries, or 15 percent and 10 percent of the annual gambling spend respectively. Casino table games accounted for only A$0.6 billion in the period, or just four percent of all gambling spend, the research company said.
“Despite losing popularity over the past decade, poker machines still generate the bulk of revenue from gambling in Australia. This makes sense, as half of poker machine players qualify as heavy gamblers, compared to one in five gamblers overall,” Jane Ianniello, international director of tourism, travel and leisure at Roy Morgan Research, said in the report.
Australians bet more and lose more on regulated gambling than any other nationality judged on a per-person basis, according to a report from consultancy H2 Gambling Capital (H2GC), published in The Economist.
The study shows Australian players lost a combined US$18.4 billion in 2013. It puts Australian gambling losses in excess of US$1,000 a resident.
The biggest chunk of this is spent on poker machines, though tighter regulation in recent years has seen the country fall to sixth place in absolute terms, The Economist wrote in February.
There is currently one gaming machine for every 108 people in Australia, according to the World Count of Gaming Machines 2013. New South Wales had the most machines in Australia, with 97,103, followed by Queensland with 47,318.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau