|The world leader for gambling participation is Australia with around 80% of the adult population
having a bet in the course of a year. Every state has casinos but the most common type of gambling is what they call "pokies", or slot machines. The term comes
from "poking" coins into the machines. Gambling as a political issue is big in Australia as the states rely on revenue from taxation of gambling but pokies
The politicising of gambling in Australia has led to countless parliamentary bills altering the laws surrounding gambling, with federal
government as well as individual states. In the UK the bookmakers have come under fire heavily for their use of FOBTs, essentially pokies that play casino
games where as the bookmakers traditional business of sports betting, of all sorts, in-play and anti-post, is untouched by government intervention. The
opposite is the case in Australia. Sports betting is continually under fire with legal amendments continually appearing whilst pokies are untouched. Its pure
politics as the figures speak for themselves; AU$11.6bn (£6.5bn) in losses for pokies, AU$815m (£461m) for sports betting.
According to the
Economist, Australian adults lose an average of US$1,300 each a year gambling, easily the highest in the world. The UK, by comparison, has a per capita loss of
Australian Casinos have to negotiate an
agreement with the state government they are in to receive a license. This a relatively recent affair for most, Western Australia only legalising casinos in
1974. There are not that many but they tend to be large Vegas type businesses. For instance, WA (Western Australia) has only one casino, The Crown Perth, yet
the state covers one third of the whole of Australia or an area ten times that of the UK.
Games that can be played in these casinos are all agreed with
the state government and are many but with large casinos the odd one or two unusual table games can be accommodated. They are very much the games you can find
around the world in the larger casinos.
Sports betting is moderately popular but not to the
scale it is in the UK. Most bets placed are related to horse racing and greyhounds, the old staples. But things are changing as once confined to the trackside
and government-owned TABs, betting has been privatised and deregulated.
As previously mentioned, this area of gambling is under attack from the various
authorities. Whilst online gambling on sporting events is legal the federal government recently outlawed in-play betting with an eye on countering match fixing
events. Further than this the government of New South Wales has banned Greyhound Racing on the grounds of cruelty (which has validity) revealed by
investigation. July 2017 is the end date for the sport in this state.
If you want to sports bet online you'll need to open an account in Australia. If
you have accounts anywhere else in the world you are unlikely to be able to access those funds. For instance if you have a UK betting account you will most
likely not be able to access this in Australia.
Totalisator Agency Board in Australia and New Zealand,
universally shortened to TAB, is the name given to monopoly totalisator organisations. TAB's in Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania
were re-branded as UBET in 2015. UBET is a subsidiary of Tatts Group, a public company listed on the
Australian Stock Exchange.
You will often find a TAB in a sports bar or hotel.
Most bars or
hotels will have a counter where you can place a bet. Many will have pokies and half of the tax revenue that is taken comes from these types of
Pokies (Fruit Machines)
Australians lose more money betting than citizens of any other country and
slot machines are the power behind it. Australia has more than 4,000 licensed clubs where you can find them and in total there are nearly 200,000 poker
While a typical British fruit machine has a £50 jackpot, Australian pokies dangle AU$10,000 top prizes.
Around 12% of Victorian
government income comes from pokies. The same in New South Wales.
Lotteries have been privatised in
every state and territory. Lotteries in Australia include various lottery related products licensed by Australian lottery companies. Lotteries operators are
licensed at a state or territory level, and include both state government-owned, not-for-profit and private sector companies. Tatts Group Limited, the only
official Government licensed operator in Australia. It operates under the "Tatts" brand in Victoria, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory. It manages other
state lotteries under their state names. Oz Lotto is a national lottery game, owned by Tatts Group. The minimum match required to win an Oz Lotto prize is
three main numbers (7 choosen from 45) and either supplementary ball.