The Australian Gambling Research Centre’s Gambling in Australia during COVID-19 surveyed more than 2,000 people who gamble from across Australia over June-July. Findings revealed that one in three participants signed up for new betting accounts during COVID-19, and the number who gambled more than four times a week increased from 23% to 32%.

Young men aged 18-34 were the cohort that saw the biggest spike in frequency and monthly gambling spend, increasing from a median of $687 to $1,075. They were also most likely to sign up for new online gambling accounts, making up 79% of new account holders.

Lead researcher on the study, Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, said the findings around young men were a concern.

“In every other age group of men, we saw a drop or no significant change in the amount they spent – but young men went in the opposite direction, spending far more than pre-COVID and more regularly,” said Dr Jenkinson.

“Increased gambling among young men was often reported to be associated with being socially isolated, bored, or as a means of social connection with friends.”

“On top of this, the easy, 24-hour accessibility of online gambling means young people have been able to bet at any time, any place,” she said.

“The numbers all tell a story – we have seen many land-based venues temporarily close, but horse and greyhound racing continued and sports like the AFL and NRL resumed with condensed seasons, providing opportunities to gamble online on these products at any time,” said Dr Jenkinson.

  • Almost 1 in 3 survey participants signed up for a new online betting account during COVID-19, and 1 in 20 started gambling online.
  • Even with limited access to venues, overall, participants gambled more often during COVID-19. The proportion who gambled 4 or more times a week increased from 23% to 32%.
  • Horse racing, sports betting, greyhound racing and lotto were the main products that participants gambled on before and during COVID-19.
  • Of concern, 79% of participants were classified as being at risk of, or already experiencing, gambling-related harm.
  • Young men (aged 18-34 years) were the sub-population most likely to sign up for new online accounts, to increase their frequency and monthly spending on gambling (from $687 to $1,075), and to be at risk of gambling-related harm.
  • Around half of the survey participants reported that their physical and/or mental health had been negatively affected during COVID-19.

Access the full report… Gambling in Australia during COVID-19.

Or download a PDF of the Report here >>>>