Australia's Booming Online Gambling Industry: A $50 Billion Phenomenon


Online betting is currently reaching its peak. This multi-billion-dollar industry is breaching every corner of the world. It brings revenue, tax money and employment. Of course, governments are carefully walking on these steps because they want to make sure that they have the best regulations.

That is how they ensure that only licensed operators offer their services and that their residents are safe. One of the countries where this industry is currently booming is Australia. Statistics show that Aussie land generates over $50 billion a year and we are going to take a closer look into this case.

Regulation of Online Betting in Australia

At the federal level, the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 lays out the foundation of online sports betting. It says that an operator is allowed to offer online betting services, as long as it holds a valid Australian license. However, in-play betting is not permitted.

Every territory in Australia has its own regulator. For example, the Australian Capital Territory has the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission, Victoria has the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, etc.

The most “powerful” regulator is the Northern Territory Racing Commission. Why? Because all of the largest companies in Australia are based in the Northern Territory. Additionally, Australian betting sites that hold a license from the NTRC can operate on a federal level.

Statistics show that the NT government gains over $20 million in online betting taxes each year. Hence, one would argue that this industry has a vital importance. In return for gaining a license, operators must employ locals and have local offices.

There’s one major issue with the power that the NTRC has though. Parliament members are arguing that due to its influence, the Racing Commission is subject to corruption . Alliance for Gambling Reform, an independent organization questions NTRC's way of work and wants to establish a new national regulator that will have a more firm grip on the industry.

Online Betting is Here to Stay in Australia

Whatever the future may bring, one thing is certain – online betting is here to stay in Australia. Speculations of new regulatory frameworks are constantly in the air and they will likely overhaul the industry and strengthen it.

Statistics show that the CAGR of the online gambling industry in total (which includes online betting) will be 5.22% until 2028. Additionally, the number of people who are actively wagering online is set to reach 7.8 million by 2028 and in the upcoming years, the user penetration rate will cross 15%.

Current research states that among the adult Australians who wager online regularly, 91% of them place bets on horse races and 86% place bets on sports. Out of those who reported that they wager on sports, the most popular categories are:

·   AFL (36.5%)

·  NRL (28.6%)

·   Football (17.5%)

·   Cricket (10.5%)

·   Two or more sports (26.3%)

In terms of the payments, debit cards were the most commonly used method (66.3%). A quarter of the online bettors reported depositing and withdrawing via credit cards as well. Interestingly enough, cryptocurrencies are also breaching the market. Research states that 3.1% of bettors like to use these digital assets to place bets on sports.

Finally, the evolution of online betting is likely going to be mobile. Poles suggest that 87.7% of the people who wager online do it on their smartphone. In contrast, 37.8% of the people have reported placing bets at a venue, which is a much smaller percentage. If you're wondering why the sum goes over 100%, it's because some reported betting both on their mobile phones and in person.

What’s even more fascinating is that 55.1% reported that they have multiple accounts in different operators.

As for the reason why Alliance for Gambling Reform is pushing for a review of the online gambling laws, it's because one in 10 bettors reported that they wagered at what they thought was an illegal offshore site.

Critics state that the federal government should implement new systems that will block offshore illegal sites. Right now, the biggest issue is not just blocking illegal unlicensed sites, but also licensed ones that are not allowed to operate in the country.

Many punters get distracted once they see a license from the likes of Curacao or MGA. While these sites are not scam platforms, Australian law forbids them to operate in the region.

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