Australia, New Zealand, Online Gambling's Biggest Consumers

Published Sunday, March 22, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

New Zealand and Australia are the biggest participants in online gambling per capita in the world. So says a new report issued from the University of Lethbridge Alberta in Canada. The study done by professors Robert Williams and Robert Wood claim that punters in the two countries wager an average of 435 dollars a month on online games of chance.
That's five times what gamers stuff into poker machines. These facts have induced renewed outcry for the prohibition of online gambling. The availability of credit for online gambling has proved to be the deciding factor in the dramatic difference. The study also revealed the prevalence of problem gambling was up to four times higher for web based gamblers than those who used more traditional methods of play.

The in depth study consisted of surveying over 20,000 people from 105 countries. Professor Wood stated, "Australian Internet gamblers do report higher average monthly gambling spending than the overall average we observed among our sample," "This would suggest that Australian Internet gamblers do spend more on gambling compared with Internet gamblers from most other countries."

Gerard Byrne, the Salvation Army's problem-gambling service co-ordinator, said he was not surprised by the figures and "We would encourage bans on any capability to gamble on credit and believe the Federal Government should take a lead on this," He went on to say, "People are certainly reporting more and more usage of online gambling," "We've got a culture in NSW where gambling is the state pastime."

David Costello from Clubs New South Wales said online gambling should be subject to the same restrictions as the heavily regulated gaming industry. "This is a very real issue."

This news comes after Centrebet, the most used online gambling operator, posted a 23 per cent jump in Australian online revenue last month. The company is also expecting a 10 per cent increase for the 12 months to June. Great news for shareholders but obviously some real ammunition for the anti internet gambling lobby groups in the down under continent.

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