Australian poker players truly seem to be scraping the barrel, or at least that is the picture that is being painted across the world, according to new research. In accordance with the latest research out of the Australian Gambling Research Centre or AGRC, there are approximately 132 000 Australians engaging in poker at any time in the country.
If you’re wondering how they got to this picture, the report drew from the research released in last November’s Gambling in Australia findings which unveiled findings from the 2015 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. Of course, all of the findings used were specific to poker and gambling-related activities.
However, while an estimation of 132 000 Australians choosing to go all out on poker on a regular basis might seem like a lot, in reality, it is only 0.8% of the population. And to make matters worse only 1.9% of the total 132 000 are regular monthly gamblers at that. However, while poker is the least common out of the ten reviewed forms of gambling in Australia, it is the highest earning gambling activity in Australia.
For example, if you were to compare the average amount an individual would spend on sports betting in Australia per year, the figure is only A$1 032 for the whole years’ worth of betting. However, in comparison, the amount spent on poker per year as the Australian individual is a lot closer to A$1 758 or US$1 390. To make figures even more interesting, poker truly is the most lucrative of all of the options, as poker expenditure amongst these households’ totals for around 48% of all gambling activities within Australia.
An interesting find was that the vast majority of poker players in Australia liked to make use of the lottery and automated gaming machines as their top alternatives to gambling. Why this interesting, well poker is a highly specialized game, which requires a lot of fine tuning on behalf of the player. The lottery on the other hand, requires simply a good old helping hand from your possible friend Lady Luck.
The Conundrum That Has Surfaced
The report claimed that this particular pattern of behavior could be explained by the phenomenon of problem gambling. But, when this was assessed to see if Australia had a large-scale issue with problem gambling, it was found that less than 1.1% of all poker players within Australia met the necessary criteria to be classified as having an addiction to gambling. Why then, do poker players like luck-based gambling alternatives?