A boost in mobile betting has been reported in Australia

Online gambling seems to have taken an interesting turn in the country, as reported by the well-known market research enterprise – Roy Morgan. It seems like more Australians are using their mobile devices to make bets, while the overall number of gamblers is currently lower than it used to be back in the day. While the status of the local gambling environment is still being researched, there are a few easily noticeable facts that come to the public’s attention.

According to statistics that have been carried out recently by the same company, over the last year, a number of 3.4 Australian citizens have placed bets on either horse racing, sporting events, harness races or other similar options, a decrease of over 0,3 million being noticed since the year of 2012. While the reasons behind the decrease is yet to be clear, it has been concluded that punters have directed their focus towards the online gambling scene over the last few months. The same market research company is the one to reveal further that the number of Australian people placing a bet on the web has reached a 50 percent increase, meaning more than 34 percent of Australian gamblers are now replacing traditional betting with its digital alternative.

Behind the boost of online bets stands the increased popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices. While in 2012, as low as 5 percent of citizens used smartphones to gamble, now more than 22% of citizens resort to this convenient alternative. The number of locals who use their desktop computer or laptop, however, remains the same.

Roy Morgan states that mobile betting is the one that has actually triggered the overall boost in online gambling activities in Australia.

The country’s iGaming industry is now more consolidated than ever, but there are only two operators that are currently dominating the entire digital betting market. Sportsbet.com.au and Tabcorp Holdings are known to be the biggest players in the industry, the first choices of the majority of online gamblers. The first one is being used by somewhere around 12 percent of Australian gamblers, while the second has attracted more than 17 percent of locals who place bets online. There’s also a third gambling operator that has drawn the interest of 6.5% of Australians, known under the name of Crownbet. This site has recently been purchased by The Star Group, a famous Canadian gaming operator.

Michele Levine – chief executive officer – continues to add that the increase in online gambling influences positively the overall image of the local industry. The ease of betting via online sources as well as the few other changes that have been noticed over the last few years allows the strengthening of betting operations into a few essential players, as claimed by Roy Morgan’s CEO.

The merger ofTatts Group and Tabcorp, alongside with The Stars Group’s purchasing of Crownbet are some of the big changes that have occurred since 2017, contributing to the overall success of the Australian gambling market.

 

What do Australians excel at? Losing money when gambling

When visiting Australia one thing that will hit you in the face is that they have electronic gambling machines at every step. What effect does this have on people’s savings? Well, the majority of them are not able to save a single penny, because they lose around 24 billion Australian dollars annually. Australia has registered the greatest losses in the world when it comes to gambling.

Here there are numerous forms of gambling, people have access to pokies, casinos and multiple types of electronic gambling machines. The losses reported in Australia are the greatest in the world because they have these machines installed everywhere, not only inside casinos, like other states of the world have. Every hotel, restaurant, and pub has an area dedicated to gambling. What the majority of Australian citizens do not know is that the biggest brands in their country are also the greatest pokies operators. One example is Woolworths –  the most well-known supermarket chain of Australia, which also happens to be specialized in installing gambling machines around the country.

The main question people have in mind is Why does the state approve of pokies being installed everywhere? The answer is simple. A great part of the state’s revenue comes from gambling. If you check the studies you will notice that people are simply obsessed with gambling in Australia, and the less wealthy regions are the ones that spend the most on this pastime activity. Why does this happen? Because casinos have worked on their methods of reaching customers and maximising their income. They invest in exquisite venues, many of them offer free drinks and food to their clients and all of them hire only model-looking people as staff.

To see how big this phenomenon is, there are regions where people make reservations for certain machines in casinos because they consider that they win only if they use a particular one. This shows only one thing, for Australians, gambling is one of the activities they practice the most. Australians state that when they leave home, to go shopping for example, they do not intend to gamble, but they are attracted by the way the casinos and pokies areas are organized.

To show people what is really going on, Andrew Wilkie, an Australian politician, decided to publish documents that show how companies such as Woolworths manage to have so many gamblers. They collect information on their clients and they know when they are likely to spend more, what their favourite activities are, and even if they are married or not. In a state where there are tough regulations for cigarettes and guns, some might wonder why politicians do not confront this issue. There are voices that state that politicians are simply afraid to get involved into a public war with the gambling companies. Others consider that Australians have a blind spot for this activity, like Americans have for guns. Also, some believe that if gambling machines were heavily regulated, this would lead to great job losses, and this is one of the main reasons they prefer to not get involved in the process. What’s the truth? Only time will tell.

Nevertheless, to avoid such troubles, we recommend you to use online casinos, read reviews and forums carefully, as well as to look for trusted and reliable casino operators.

Woolworths reportedly spied on gamblers, reaped benefits

Supermarket chain Woolworths has a set of Pokies-owning pubs that are under investigation after reports show that the staff kept tabs and wrote down personal details about gamblers in order to keep them gambling for longer. An issue that is against many rules that the pubs swore to abide by.

This has occurred after screenshots were shared with federal and state authorities in Australia that showed a digital database that was shared between over 400 pubs. These included the names of certain patrons, their gambling habits, and even which football team that they followed. This information was given by a whistleblower to federal MP Andrew Wilkie, who is investigating the pubs.

“Liquor & Gaming NSW is urgently investigating the allegations as they relate to venues in NSW,” Said The New South Wales gaming regulator “Such behavior is in clear breach of Responsible Conduct of Gambling responsibilities, which all NSW venues with gaming machines are required to uphold.”

One note that was in the database said that a lot of coffee, sandwiches, and promotional items were being used to keep in guests. And even stated that staff is rewarded so long as they “do whatever you have to do to keep people in the room.”

Most of the venues are owned by the Australian Leisure and Hospitality (ALH) Group, which is subsequently owned by Woolworths. The regular claims that it would consider the appropriate disciplinary actions to take if the chain is in violation.

The controversy arises due to the idea that the pub is coercing people to stay as long as possible and spend money above their limit. Since gambling addiction is a serious problem for many people, trying to trick people into spending more than they have is otherwise unethical.

They are not the only ones who had anything to say on the matter either.  Marlene Kairouz, Victorian Gaming Minister, said that people gambling should never be encouraged to spend more than they can.

According to Jeanette Barnes, acting director of Independent Gambling Authority, getting some details on gambling in order to check for problematic gambling behaviors is OK, but Woolworths took it too far.

“We would expect staff to be conscious of…gambling patrons” Which would include other things such as how long they have been gambling, as well as how they are acting. However, she says that getting information on football teams for marketing reasons is far too much information.

Mr. Wilkie later said that although he understands that some states need to own pubs in order to own bottle shops, that the cost of producing so much misery in people far outweighs the profit they would receive. He finishes off by saying that if Woolsworth plans on keeping their gambling machines, that they work hard to make sure that people don’t get harmed by them.

As of now, only time will tell if Woolworths will stick to their end of the accountability, and rectify this issue for the many people they caused to suffer.