Interesting Fact About Australia #5: World’s Biggest Losers

It’s been a long time since Interesting Fact About Australia #4, almost 6 years to be precise. It would be easy to assume I’d completely forgotten all about this series. But as I explained to SenpaiinOz, who commented on that very post and wanted to know where the fifth instalment was, these things do take time.

That time is now.

Interesting Fact About Australia #5: World’s Biggest Losers

diceForget ‘The Lucky Country’, how about unlucky instead. Because Australians have been bitten by the gambling bug and bitten rather badly; Aussies gamble on just about anything.

  • Pokies
  • Horses
  • Lotto
  • Keno
  • Trots
  • Dogs
  • Cockroaches
  • And everything at the casino

I’ve long been aware of Australians love affair with gambling, it’s easy to see it all around you. It’s impossible not to notice the pokies (you might call them slots, one armed bandits or fruit machines) in the pub, or the TVs showing horseracing, dog racing or the trots. Then there are the Keno cards on most pub tables and the Lotto signs that adorn almost every newsagent.

Oh, and I suggested that Aussies gamble on cockroaches in my little bullet list, you probably think I’m joking. No I’m not, here are two videos to prove it.

I’ve written about Australia’s gambling problems before in a post called Gambling in Australia and Pubs. That was back in 2011 and I’m still quite horrified now at how gambling and alcohol live side-by-side in this country. Whilst I knew it was a problem then, I didn’t know how bad it was until recently.

World’s biggest gamblers


Australia is officially the world’s capital of gambling. No other country in the world spends more on gambling, man for man, than those in Australia according to British consultancy firm H2 Gambling Capital.

Losses per annum by country

These are the top five gambling countries in the world along with approximate annual losses per annum for each adult person in US dollars:

  1. Australia – $1040
  2. Singapore – $ 950
  3. Finland – $ 600
  4. New Zealand – $ 520
  5. United States – $ 500

For source of information and infographic, see The Economist

The UK is in 11th position at just under $400. That makes gambling here in Australia around two and a half times more problematic than it is in Britain.

So, Australia has a gambling problem is interesting fact #5 and also, without doubt, an Australian Bad Thing.

If you have a gambling problem here in Australia, click the image below for some online help…

Gambling HelpFor more in this series, check out:

Watch out for Interesting Fact About Australia – #6, coming soon. Probably.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Valter Russo May 28, 2015, 9:00 pm | Link

    Cockroaches? i can’t even…

    • BobinOz May 28, 2015, 9:04 pm | Link

      Ah, but these are pedigree cockroaches 🙂

  • Aaron May 28, 2015, 7:05 am | Link

    How does that compare in terms of “hard yakka”? It might not be as bad a problem as the numbers would indicate. Or it’s worse, who knows 🙂

    • BobinOz May 28, 2015, 9:03 pm | Link

      Very good question Aaron 🙂 It certainly would slightly ease the burden on Australians, but it’s never going to close the gap on the over $1000 they waste compared with the under $400 Brits lose per year.

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