Study of Gambling and Health in Victoria
Thursday, December 3, 2015 : NEW AUSSIE GAMBLING STUDY PUBLISHED
Victoria survey studied responses from a large sample.
The Victoria provincial government-commissioned study of gambling conducted by independent researcher Schottler Consulting has been published, delivering interesting results from a large telephone response base of 13,584 residents of the province.
Running to 300 pages and titled Study of Gambling and Health in Victoria, the survey is the first comprehensive look at the gambling industry in Victoria since 2008, and the first to involve mobile-only households, a growing phenomenon in the smart-phone age.
Contrary to political and anti-gambling claims that have been made recently, the study found little evidence of an "explosion" of gambling, reporting that the overall gambling participation rate to end 2014 actually declined by almost five points from 21.5 percent to 16.7 percent since the last study in 2008.
And claims that the incidence of problem gambling has soared are also contradicted by responses which indicate that this important metric remains unchanged over the seven years at 0.81 percent. Interestingly, this metric was lower in solely land-line telephone households than in mobile telephone respondents (0.72 vs. 1.07) perhaps illustrating the ubiquity and immediate convenience of mobile telephony.
The much politically-maligned "pokie" machines appear to have been less used in the province; the study found that 15.2 percent of respondents played at least once on the machines in 2014, a marked decline from 21.5 percent in 2008 and 33.5 percent in 2003.
Sports betting in Victoria has increased slightly, however – the 2014 numbers indicate that sports betting increased by just 1.15 percent from 2008 to 2014, recording a 5.11 percent participation rate in the current study. And 52 percent of that action took place online…a major switch from 2008's 22.4 percent in line with the general development of internet usage everywhere.
Other popular gambling points for Victorian punters included at TAB outlets (44.9 percent of respondents used these on occasion); 24.5 percent at bars or hotels; 8.5 percent via land telephone; 7.9 percent at clubs and 6.8 percent at racetracks.
Betting on the races also rose – by 3.7 percent to 20.1 percent, with women betting as much as men due to the growing "feminization of wagering."
Commenting on the study, the chief executive of the Australian Wagering Council, Ian Fletcher, said it indicated that growth in sports betting remains slow and the genre comprises only 3 percent of Australian total gambling spend.