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Most of Australia’s gambling dollars spent on poker machines

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2013 – March 2014 (n=9,107).
Poker machines accounted for 60% ($9.8 billion) of the $16.3 billion spent by Australians on gambling in the 12 months to March 2014, well ahead of race betting and lotteries according to the latest results from the Roy Morgan Gambling Monitor. 

Australians spent $2.5 billion on race betting and $1.7 billion on lotteries, or 15% and 10% of the annual gambling spend respectively.

The other forms of gambling make up the remaining 15% — including sports betting ($0.9 billion or 5%), casino table games ($0.6 billion or 4%), Keno ($0.5 billion or 3%), and scratch tickets ($0.3 billion or 2%).

Annual Gambling Expenditure in Australia


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2013 – March 2014 (n=9,107).

Jane Ianniello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Despite losing popularity over the past decade, poker machines still generate the bulk of revenue from gambling in Australia. This makes sense, as half of poker machine players qualify as heavy gamblers, compared to one in five gamblers overall. 

“Roy Morgan Research’s ground-breaking new profiling tool, Helix Personas, can assist governments and other organisations to identify and understand poker machine players.

“For instance Battlers are more likely than other communities to have played poker machines in the last three months, especially those belonging to the Struggle Street persona (31% of whom have played the pokies vs 17% of the population 18+).  Struggle Street is a group who are doing it tough on low incomes or government benefits.  They are usually renting and some have young families to support; those who do gamble may do so in the hope of winning a much-needed windfall that would solve all their financial problems.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Jane Ianniello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure
Telephone: +61 (7) 3318 7000
Mobile: +61 423 024 412

Related research reports

Learn more about Helix Personas, Roy Morgan's new classification system for Australia's multi-dimensional communities.

The Roy Morgan Gambling Currency Report provides an overview of the gambling industry, measuring size of total gambling market and its 3 main components: Gaming, Wagering and Lotteries/ Scratch tickets, and changes over time. The report also looks at participation, cross-category participation and internet usage.

View our Gambling Industry Reports, including Gambling Trends which examines current and future trends driving Australia’s gambling sector with a focus on leisure and gambling trends, including participation in traditional leisure activities and gambling incidence, methods, expenditure and frequency.

View our extensive range of Gambling Profiles, including visitor profiles for gambling venues across Australia. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%