How the internet is changing gambling: Findings from an Australian prevalence survey

Abstract

Interactive gambling as a regulated activity, coupled with easy accessibility to offshore providers represents a new mode and format of gambling superimposed on traditional land-based opportunities. This paper aimed to investigate the prevalence of gambling among Australian adults and the relationship between various gambling activities and interactive modes of access. A second aim was to compare interactive and noninteractive gamblers in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, attitudes and beliefs about gambling and gambling participation. In a nationally representative telephone survey, 15,006 Australian adults completed measures assessing past 12-month gambling participation and a sub-sample completed questions about interactive gambling and beliefs. The majority of participants (64.3 %) reported gambling at least once, with 8.1 % having gambled online. Interactive gamblers gambled on a greater number of activities overall and more frequently. Interactive gamblers were more likely to be male, younger, have home Internet access, participate in more forms of gambling and have higher gambling expenditure. Almost half of the interactive gamblers preferred land-based gambling although a small proportion also noted a number of disadvantages of interactive gambling. This study shows that the nature of gambling participation is shifting with interactive gambling having a significant and growing impact on overall gambling involvement.

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