03/21/2012 :  SPORTS BETTING THE FASTEST GROWING SECTOR IN AUSSIE GAMBLING
 
Latest study shows average annual growth over last five years is 14.7 percent
 
The availability of online and mobile technology has contributed significantly to sports betting becoming the fastest growing sector in Australian gambling, The Age newspaper reported Tuesday.
 
Although still dwarfed by other forms of land gambling, sports betting is gaining popularity, according to a new study carried out by industry research group IBISWorld, which found that an annual growth of 14.7 percent has been achieved for the last five years.
 
IBISWorld Australian general manager Karen Dobie told The Age that Aussie sports betters were mostly young, single professionals with disposable income, who did not view betting on sports as a serious form of gambling.
 
"Sports betting is most accessible online. Given that this demographic is particularly comfortable in the online environment, this is another factor driving growth," Dobie said.
 
The diversity of live bets on offer, including who leads at half time and shoots the first goal was also driving spending, she revealed.
 
Despite its rising popularity, sports betting accounts for only 1.6 percent, or $360.5 million, of total gambling spend in Australia. Land casino gambling accounts for 20 percent of total expenditure, the IBISWorld research found.
 
Pokies, lotteries and racing are in decline, but pokies still take the lion's share of the market with 60.2 percent.
 
Australians are among the most prolific gamblers in the world with the research predicting gambling expenditure to reach A$22.5 billion or an average of A$1,256 per person in 2011/12.
 
"More than 70 percent of us have a flutter at least once a year, especially in line with key cultural events such as Anzac Day and the Melbourne Cup," Dobie observed, adding that New South Wales had the most gamblers, making up 38 percent of gambling spending, followed by Victoria and Queensland.