Gambling has its origins thousands of years ago. As soon as two cavemen decided to wrestle each other, it appears that a third cavemen decided to run a book on it.
The data around gambling leads us to recognise 2 sub-types:-
Recreational gambling – typically games of chance, including pokies, scratchies and lotto
Punting – mainly based on sports (horses, team sports) and perceived to be influenced by some knowledge and skill
Here’s what emma found.
Overall, 40% of men have gambled in the last month, compared to 34% of women. However, if you strip out recreational gambling games (lotteries, scratchies and pokies) to just look at punting at a TAB, or online, the numbers shrink to just 1 in 12 men (8.6%) and one in 37 women (2.7%).
Moreover, when it comes to frequent punters, 3.8% of men bet at a TAB or online at least once a week compared to 0.8% of women.
Underlying this gender inequality, research shows that men and women gamble for different reasons. Men gamble for the excitement, and the rush. Women gamble for escapism and to cope with stressful or unsatisfying lives.
There may also be a feeling of mastery or expertise that drives men, as the most male skewed types of gambling are TAB (76% male) and online betting (77% male) – which are mainly about betting on sports, allegedly requiring knowledge and skill, rather than playing games.
The age group from 30-44 shows a dip in venue-based gambling and punting, with 6% doing so over a four week period, compared to 8% of 18-29s and 12% of those 45+. The largest reason for this is the presence of kids, meaning they don’t get out as much.
Interestingly, online betting isn’t just a young person’s thing, but is consistent across age groups. It indexes relatively strongly against the 30-44 age group (108), providing growth opportunities to counter the drop off in venue based gambling among that age group.
One attitudinal statement sticks out when you compare the punters (TAB/online betters) to the gamblers (scratchies, lotto, pokies). Surprisingly, it’s their tendency to find fault with other people.
30% of punters agree they are fault finders, compared to only 22% of gamblers.
And 40% of punters say they are critical of others, compared to only 33% of gamblers.
One possible interpreation is that gamblers are playing against machines, or just dealing in pure luck, whereas punters are betting against other people (indirectly) and believe they are using skill. Hence it could be that punters are more competitive, and therefore more critical of others.
Given the age profile of recreational gamblers, skewed 45+ it is no surprise that they are heavy readers of print newspapers (38%). But, despite the more even age profile of TAB punters and online betters, we saw even higher heavy print newspaper consumption (46% and 43% respectively).
No other medium scores as highly for heavy usage among any of the sub-groups of gambler.
Within their newspaper reading, we see sports sections featuring strongly, but not exclusively. Taking the Victorian market as an example, over 60% of punters and gamblers read most of the paper. It is a core medium within their lives generally as well as helping inform them about punting.
We uncovered a number of factors that predispose people to gamble, from gender to motivation to competitiveness. Online gambling is starting to break down some of the barriers and levelling the playing field across demographics. Across the board, for online & TAB punters, and recreational gamblers, their medium of choice remains the newspaper, showing the highest heavy media consumption for all 3 groups.