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Young, male, poor: Meet Australia's biggest gamblers

The most amount of money spent on gambling went to poker in 2015.
The most amount of money spent on gambling went to poker in 2015.

YOUNG men as young as 18 who are out of a job or on low incomes are among Australians biggest gamblers.

But the 193,000 problem gamblers in the country find $6241 on average per year to spend on their favourite flutters

An analysis by the Australian Gambling Research Centre, part of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, which is released today, shows an estimated 6.8m Australians are regular gamblers, spending money on one or more activities in a month.

In 2015 the most amount of money was spent on poker while the least amount went into newsagent scratchies.

The analysis found that 7.9 per cent of Australians had experienced one or more gambling-related problems in the same year.

Rates of problems were much higher among regular gamblers.

"At least 40 per cent of those who gambled regularly on the pokies, race betting, sports betting, casino table games, private betting or poker experienced gambling-related problems," AGRC lead researcher Dr Andrew Armstrong said.

"People who experienced problems tended to be males aged 18 to 29 who were unemployed, single, renting and had low incomes," he said.

Dr Jennifer Baxter AGRC manager said there were a lot of retirees who lived alone or with one other person, who drew on welfare or lived outside a major city, among the regular gamblers group.

An average regular gambler spent an estimated $1272 in one year, with card-playing poker gamblers spending the most at $3674 on poker and other gambling activities.

"Gamblers in low income families spent an average of 10 per cent of their household income on gambling, compared to high income households which spent one per cent of the household budget," Dr Armstrong said.

The AGRC analysis was based on the 2015 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey.

Topics:  addiction gambling poverty


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