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More than 430,000 children likely to be gambling - Australians bet 20% more online than any other country, new figures

5 Dec 2022

More than 430,000 Australian children are likely to be gambling with almost 40,000

categorised as risky gamblers and 14,400 categorised as problem gamblers, the CEO of the

Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, says.

And the industry’s own figures show that Australians bet online 20%* more than any other

nation on the planet and the size of our online gambling market ranks third in the world (in

actual dollars, not on a per capita basis).

Ms Bennett said the alarming rate of children gambling was revealed by new research by

the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. She said while no similar research has been

undertaken in Australia if the UK findings were extrapolated from the known rate of gambling in Australia it would mean:

  •  14,400 Australian children under 16 are problematic gamblers

  •  38,400 Australian children under 16 are risky gamblers and

  •  432,000 Australian children under 16 are gamblers

Australia spends A$332 per person on online gambling, topping the world and gambling 20%

more than the next worst country, Sweden, which spends A$276.

“International research reveals that as the number of gamblers increases, so does the number of gamblers experiencing the most harm and based on Australia’s rate of gambling it is likely that up to 70,000 people in Australia are experiencing significant harm,” Ms Bennett said.

Ms Bennett will join the Alliance for Gambling Reform’s Chief Advocate, Tim Costello, in giving

evidence on Monday 5 December 2022 to a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling. There will also be powerful testimony from those who have lived experience who will tell their stories of gambling


Rev. Costello said Australia has the highest gambling losses and the worst regulation in the

world and our failure to protect children from being groomed by online gambling operators will

have such serious, long-term consequences.

Rev. Costello said it was shameful that there wasn’t a single health department or bureaucrat in

Australia that was working to reduce gambling harm.

“We have little national regulation on gambling and at state level we have Ministers for Gambling. The implications are that online gaming operators are able to groom our kids with impunity and the implications will be horrific and lifelong,” Rev. Costello said.

“There is very little difference between those using deceptive marketing to promote vaping products to children than those grooming our kids to gamble online. The only difference is that governments are starting to more strictly regulate vaping. Foreign, online gambling operators continue to act with very few restrictions.”

In its submission to the inquiry, the Alliance for Gambling Reform has called for significant

reforms to reduce gambling harm including banning the broadcast of gambling advertisements

and introducing national gambling regulation and a national regulator.

The Alliance is a national advocacy organisation which works to prevent and minimise the harm

from gambling. Our aim is to remove the shame that surrounds gambling, have the problem

treated as a public health issue, and achieve the legislative changes needed to protect our


To hear evidence today go to: Watch Parliament – Parliament of Australia (

*Online gambling markets - global 2021

Carol Bennett is available for interview

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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