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More ‘Battlers’ play pokies, but ‘Metrotech’ and ‘Getting By' gamble more money

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2013 – December 2013; Australians 18+ who played a poker machine in the last three months n=3244.

Australian adults gambled over $10 billion on poker machines in 2013, the latest Roy Morgan Gambling Monitor shows. 3.1 million Australians played poker machines in an average three months, spending an average of $833 each.

New profiling tool Helix Personas identifies that while ‘Battlers’ are the most likely to gamble on machines in an average three months, those players spent a below-average $757 each per quarter in 2013, compared with gamblers in the ethnically diverse and often multigenerational outer suburban households in the ‘Getting By’ community, who spent an average $1082 apiece.

Hip and high-earning younger ‘Metrotechs’ may be the least likely to play the pokies, but when they do they spend $959 per average quarter.

Poker machine players in the ‘Leading Lifestyle’, ‘Today’s Families’ and ‘Aussie Achievers’ communities spend below average per person, while those in ‘Golden Years’ spend almost exactly the national average.     

Mean Quarterly Spend Per Poker Machine Player in Helix Communities

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2013 – December 2013; Australians 18+ who played a poker machine in the last three months n=3244.

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

“Around one in six Australian adults (17%) plays the pokies at least once in an average three month period. 

“22% of Battlers play poker machines, spending $757 each on average, but the 18% of those in the Getting By community who play the pokies spend $1082 each.

‘Getting By’ mostly comprise larger, often immigrant and multigenerational households in outer metro suburbs. Three Personas in this community stand out for their above-average prevalence of poker machine gambling and average quarterly expenditure of $1300-1500 per player: Budget Lifestyle (504), Aspiring Immigrants (505) and Doing it Tough (509).

“Australians in the Budget Lifestyle persona are more likely than average to play pokies at a casino, while those in the other two personas are more likely to hit the pokie room in pub, hotel, club or bar.”

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

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Click here to learn more about Helix Personas, Roy Morgan's new classification system for Australia's multi-dimensional communities.

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Click here to 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.

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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%