|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
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.
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 under US$400.
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
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.
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 places.
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 machines.
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