A new study by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has revealed an increase in the number of Australians gambling online in the six-month period to June 2021.
The study found that more than one in 10 Australians (11%) said they had taken part in online gambling at some point in the previous six months, up from 8% in 2020.
According to the ACMA, it also highlights significant growth in online sports betting since the 2020 survey, likely driven by the return of sporting events following the COVID-related lockdowns of that year.
Online sports and horse betting – both legal in Australia – were “slightly more popular” than online gambling activities like poker machines, poker or casino-style table games, all of which are illegal.
Lotteries remained the most popular form of online gambling, with 21% of Australian adults taking part in June 2021.
The research also showed that a small proportion of Australian adults use illegal online betting services, with one in 20 online gamblers reporting use of an offshore betting platform.
A quarter of respondents who said they had participated in sports-related online gambling in the previous six months, including betting on racing, esports and fantasy sports, had bet online.
The report “examines the prevalence and nature of online gambling in Australia, and how this has changed in recent years,” the ACMA said. “The research provides insight into online betting in Australia today and how that has changed from pre-COVID years.”
The ACMA also noted that it has continued to enforce tougher illegal offshore gambling rules introduced in 2017 under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, which prohibit the provision or advertisement of online gambling services. online such as Australian casinos. Since then, the ACMA has facilitated the blocking of 354 illegal gambling websites and 21 affiliate marketing sites, he said.