VICTORIA, Australia – According to some claims, online gambling sites are now targeting bored young Australian men during the coronavirus pandemic.
Based on a statement from a leading anti-gambling advocate in the country, online gambling companies are starting to become greedy during this current pandemic by targeting the bored young Aussie men.
During the current health crisis in Australia, which is also affecting the entire world, at the moment, pub poker rooms and casinos are closed and would remain as such indefinitely. However, it only resulted in Australians finding new ways to entertain themselves. According to consumer data, Aussies are spending more than they usually spend before in online gambling sites.
With this, anti-gambling organizations in the country are becoming more concerned. Tim Costello from the Alliance for Gambling Reform in Australia is pushing for the government to ban advertisements of any form of online gambling in the country. He said that ads for these companies shouldn’t get mainstream, especially during this lockdown conditions.
According to Mr Costello, these companies are mainly aiming towards young Aussie men who are in lockdown during the health crisis and are now becoming bored because of it. He noted that sports betting companies, especially those based on the UK, already agreed to stop advertisements for their sites during this lockdown.
Based on the latest data that Illion, an analytics company, and AlphaBeta, an economic advisor, gathered shows that around 150% of Aussies had increased spending towards online gambling. This figure is for the period between April 26 to May 3, 2020, which is considerably higher than most online gambling spending in Australia during a typical week. That got a massive increase from 71% higher on regular expenditures from the previous week.
During that same week, the country’s general consumer spending also went up by around 13%. However, this latest number is still below the average consumer spending by 7% before the coronavirus pandemic week.
Meanwhile, Andrew Charlton, the director of AlphaBeta, noted that the country now leverages on the boost on lessened restrictions. He further stated that the one-off pandemic financial aid worth $750 hitting bank accounts also helped.
Dr Charlton further commented that the Australian government now has a more unobstructed view of the impact of their support payments. However, he mentioned that the supplement to Aussie individuals during the pandemic had created a more significant impact on their spending, instead of using it as an economic stimulus.
According to some analysts, one of the primary driving forces of the increase in online gambling spending in the country despite the pandemic is the youth allowance and unemployment benefits people are receiving. With the current lockdown and the financial aid from the government, people in Australia have more time and more cash they can use to gamble online.
Since April, when the country experienced the depth of the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, spending of Australian people on online gambling increased considerably. It changed since then but remained well around 30% over the country’s regular expenditure per week.
Based on data for the early weeks of April, figures show that Australians are putting more of their money to pay for non-essentials, men doing so more than the women. It includes spending seven times than they usually fork out for online gambling.
Meanwhile, Mr Costello said that the current coronavirus pandemic brought some positive impact as well. Casinos and gambling venues are currently closed due to health restrictions, which forced most gamblers to quit.
Based on the estimation of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, there is $1.5 billion worth of savings from gambling because of the lockdown on casinos and clubs.
Mr Costello also commented that most gamblers wouldn’t quickly go back to how they have been spending money before the pandemic happened. He said that most of them are rapidly becoming more responsible for using their money for essentials, such as paying their rent.
Based on previous figures, Australians loses as much as $24 billion to gambling every year, and only around $1.2 billion of that are going to online gambling sites.
Sally Gainsbury from the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment and Research Center also commented on the issue. She said that there is currently an increased number of Australian people who are opening new accounts on online gambling sites.
However, spending on online gambling is extremely unlikely to offset the traditional gambling sector in the country.
Professor Gainsbury further stated that Australians who got used to playing games in the casino and land-based gambling sites don’t consider turning into online gambling as a natural transition.
Meanwhile, online gambling sites are providing bored Australians with many options for entertainment. Sports betting companies have a long list of sportsbook and betting markets. They usually receive punts on e-sports, horse races, e-sports, politics, and entertainment in addition to the usual sports events and online casino games.
With the increase in online gambling spending in the country, an Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesperson previously said that the issue needs more perspective.