The NSW Gambling Survey 2019 provides an up to date population-wide understanding of the gambling landscape, changes in gambling behaviour, the extent of problem gambling and how the various regions across NSW are affected.

The survey builds on the last prevalence survey published in 2012.

Highlights from the survey can be found below.

Gambling in NSW

  • Gambling participation in NSW is declining – 53% of people had gambled in the past 12 months, compared to 65% in 2011
  • Lotteries (37%) were the most common form of gambling followed by gaming machines (16%), instant scratchies (13%) and race betting (13%)
  • Participation in all forms of gambling has significantly declined since 2011, with the exception of Bingo (2%) and betting on non-sporting events (1%) which remained the same, and informal private betting which has increased from 3% in 2011 to 5% in 2019

Online gambling

  • Just under one in ten adults (8%) have gambled online in the past year
  • Race betting (4.7%) is the most common form of online gambling followed by sports betting (4.2%), eSports betting (0.5%) and online casino games (0.5%)
  • The survey looked at new and emerging forms of gambling, like eSports betting, fantasy sports, and gambling using something other than money, like ‘skins’ or virtual currencies. We found that these forms of gambling are relatively uncommon

Gambling problems in NSW

  • The rate of problem gambling in the NSW population remained relatively stable, at 1% compared to 0.8% in 2011
  • Gambling problems are more prevalent among young people. Gamblers aged 18-24 were most likely to be moderate-risk and problem gamblers (14.9%) compared with 7.2% of gamblers overall.
  • Some forms of gambling have a higher risk of harm than others. Playing gaming machines presented the most risk of harm, followed by online poker games. The most common forms of gambling, like lotteries, were the least associated with harm
    Gambling regularly increases the risk of gambling problems. Just over one in ten people (13%) who gambled at least weekly were considered to be problem gamblers compared to just under 2% of all people who gamble.

The NSW Government is committed to preventing and minimising gambling harm. The information gathered from this survey will inform prevention, education and treatment initiatives, as well as policy development and regulatory efforts.

In 2019/20, $35 million has been allocated to responsible gambling programs and initiatives to prevent and minimise gambling harm, promote a safe gambling environment and support those impacted by problem gambling.

For more information and for a copy of the report visit the Office of Responsible Gambling website