Online Gambling Study Launched by Australian Universities

June 18, 2012

The University of Sydney and also the Southern Cross University in Australia have been carrying out research in an attempt to learn more about the traits of online gamblers. This is the second part of their research which is aimed at finding out the habits of gamblers on a national scale.

This research has taken into consideration the different methods and devices players use in order to gamble such as with the use of Smart Televisions, PC's, laptops and various mobile devices. Several forms of gambling have been taken into consideration, such as online poker, sportsbetting and gambling at online casinos.

The purpose of this research is to ultimately find ways to better protect the player, introduce relevant policies and therefore help to reduce and prevent problem gambling.

Dr Sally Gainsbury who is the lead researcher based at the Center for Gambling Education and Research at Southern Cross University commented on the recent study, "Research shows online gambling can be risky, but that the best way to protect players is to provide a regulated environment that has harm minimisation and responsible gambling features and tools in place."

Ahead of the actual gambling reforms, approximately 30 separate recommendations were proposed to make sure that the players receive the utmost protection when placing bets online. The figures have revealed that Australian online gamblers spend within the region of AU$1 billion at largely unregulated sites that operate from offshore locations, where players have very little protection.

Professor Alex Blaszczynski from the University of Sydney welcomed the recommendations saying that they "will go a long way towards harm minimisation and consumer protection." He commented on the recommendation which could permit players being able to play poker online, adding that this was “consistent with the Productivity Commission’s recommendation and in this context is aimed at allowing access to popular but less risky forms of gambling compared to other types of gambling that allow high frequency play.”

The completion of the second phase of study is expected at some point in 2013. The first part of research found that more than 50% of online gamblers had been doing so since before 2006. It also found that most were either students or full time workers, had significantly better wages and were either living with a partner or were married, whereas a large percentage of non-internet gamblers were unmarried.

The most common form of gambling taking place online by Australians is sportsbetting and placing wagers on racing events. After this was poker, which was then followed by online casino gambling and then betting on the lottery. Surprisingly, only 6% of gamblers place bets from their mobile device, whereas the remaining 96% gamble from their laptop or PC.