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Australia has, for years, been a top gambling country. From land-based casinos to online casinos, Australians have a broad range of gambling types to choose from. Hitherto, the iGaming industry remains resilient even in the face of global pandemics that have posed an existential threat to other well-established industries. Backed by progressive legal provisions and acts, gambling in Australia is one of the biggest revenue drivers in the local economy.

Australian gambling culture dates back to as early as the 1800s when the regulatory law was enacted. The act was meant to restrain certain gambling practices and the use of indecent language. Since then, laws have been passed on an ad hoc basis to factor in the global arena’s dynamic gaming trends.

Australia’s growing embrace for gambling was evidenced by the report of a commissioned study in 2011. According to this study, at least 70% of Australian engaged in casino gaming. The average annual tax revenue is between A$12.2 billion and A$15.8 billion. This massive growth could be partially attributed to various state regulatory authorities setting up that ensure compliance and adherence to the safety and fairness standards. These include the likes of The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission, and The Australian Capital Territory Gambling and Racing Commission, to mention just a few. The safety guarantee by these authorities has opened a floodgate of online casino in Australia real money platforms. The mobile casino sites offer to sign up bonus giveaways and regular ones with enticing rewards, including keeping what you win options and a free cash bonus. There are also free spins for existing players and instant play features with no max cash-out limitations.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected other industries in Australia and the world, it is interesting to note that the iGaming revenues sharply increased in the 2nd quarter according to data from the American Gaming Association. The gaming revenues grew by an astonishing 253.8% year over year up to $402.7 million. In the first half of 2020, the Gross Gaming Revenues peaked at $634.9%, representing a 189.7% increase compared to the previous year records.

In Europe, things are trends that are not much different from the global picture. These are some stats from the French National Gaming Authority (ANJ):

Online sports betting was the worst hit in the 2nd quarter, with a 56% decrease in gross gaming revenues.

Online Horse Racing betting went up by 33% compared to the previous year’s data.

Online Poker saw a significant increase, with a 126% increase in revenues.

There were over 1,100,000 player accounts that were activated in this period representing a sharp 68% increase. The online poker revenues reached €142 million.

Online Gambling Market AU Highlights

The global iGaming market is experiencing huge tech shifts that are fundamentally a reason why the industry is quite adaptive to the dictates of the information age that we live in. These shifts have led to future-looking growths. For example, the period through 2020 to 2027 will see the global gaming market experienced huge growth. Grand View Research, Inc opines that the market will reach $127.3 by 2027. It will represent a CAGR of 11.5% within this period.

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In Australia, the same trend is expected as many gamblers can now access their best casino games via smartphones. Besides the comparably cheap Electronic Gambling Devices (EGDs), here are some reasons why Australia has recorded a massive surge in iGaming statistics in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

  1. In Australia, web-based casino service providers are free to agree with their player clients to offer them real money betting opportunities, attracting more players.
  2. Many Australians have embraced desktops for gambling in the modern gaming era, as the downloading and installation processes for casino software are straightforward.
  3. Australian online agencies, exchanges, and networks plus approved third-party ad servers are available for casino advertising hence reaching a broader customer base.
  4. Unmatched ease of playing favorite slot games or betting on your smartphone has contributed significantly to the gaming industry’s growth.
  5. Amid the Pandemic, online gaming traffic grew by at least 67%, pointing to an increase in revenues. The increased expenditure on online games was mainly due to the lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus.
  6. As regulated by various state authorities, the legal casino environment is a big justification as to why playing online slots continue to peak in popularity.
  7. The Australian market is served by key online casino companies, including William Hill PLC and Betfair, hence attracting more new gamers due to quality games and security features as enhanced by well-established brands.

Online casino participation vs. Casino Closures

As Australians continue to enjoy safer iGaming environments, their interest in online pokies is unparalleled. The 2017 official data indicates that online pokies constitute the biggest percentage of the dollars gambled at 56.7%. Other games in terms of dollars gambled include sports betting (5.2%), Greyhounds, harness racing and horse racing (15.5%), Lotteries (14.2%), casino table games (5%), and keno (3.4%).

Even so, these figures indicate high gambling rates on online pokies, the year 2020 came with better results. With the 2020 Crisis impact, it is estimated that the market will experience an increase of about $15 billion as more players migrate from land-based casinos to online sites.

While commenting on the effects of the lockdown on iGaming, Morgan Stanley analysts argue that the situation is likely to compel more regions and states to legalize online casino slots in the wake of massive land-based casino closures in the US and the rest of the world.

The Australian market is no different. Involvement in online slot games continues to rise as the pandemic bites. Searches for games like Forbidden Fruit soared during this period. Recent Australian spending figures ranked online casinos second with a 110% increase in the period ending June 1st. Likewise, the National Australia Bank transaction data shows that for 4 weeks that ended on June 6, gambling expenditure went up by 62.7% compared to the same period in 2019.

Similarly, the Sydney Morning Herald published an online article in which it gave an insightful analysis of data from SEMrush. According to the figures, searches for online pokies tripled between February and April as all physical casinos had been closed. Searches for Australian online real money games incredibly grew by 540% while Australian online casino review questions grew exponentially.

While online casinos raked in extra dollars, the following globally ranked gambling regions lost insurmountable revenues everyday casinos were closed.


Australian Regulations during 2nd Quarter of 2020

The regulation for online casinos, both online and offline in Australia has been traditionally a mandate of states through various bodies. The developments in gaming technologies have however, seen the commonwealth take a more proactive role in regulating the sector. For instance, the federal Australian government has developed laws that prohibit some of the online sites from providing services to the local gamblers.

To date, including the 2nd quarter of 2020, most iGaming regulations are affected by the Gambling Act of 2001 (Interactive Gambling Act). According to the act, Australians are free to play in online sites that have been duly licensed by the government even with foreign roots. Equally, domestic licensed casinos are free to offer services to foreign players. Both online pokie machines and physical poker machines are legal in brick and mortar casinos. Regarding taxations, as a player, you should not worry about any obligations as the casinos or sites that you are playing on are already tax compliant by them having an operating license.

Conclusive Remarks

Gambling is a unique industry. Services are either offline or online to cater to the various demands across players. It is probably why the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have dealt a minimal blow on the industry. The fact that you can enjoy what you get at a land-based direct from your smartphone or PC has minimized the perceived adverse effects. According to various sources, the 2nd quarter of 2020 reports, a good representative sample of the ‘pandemic effects,’ indicate that millions of players shifted to online casino slots as more land-based casinos were closed to contain the spread of the virus. In this period most countries announced lockdown measures, meaning that traveling to casinos was impossible. This expanded the revenue bases of casinos that had stronghold investments in online platforms. It has further proved that the future of gaming is hugely pegged on online platforms owing to convenience, a good range of choices, and ease in playability and affordability, among other factors.

Please gamble responsibly.