Gambling seems to be an ingrained part of the Australian psyche. But these days we seem to be bombarded with new ways to bet on stuff. I had a look at the Queensland gambling statistics (from the Qld Data Portal) to see where our punting dollars go and if we are more inclined to have a punt now than we were 12 years ago.
In 2004/5 Queen-slanders punted away $AU2.99B (yes about 3,000 million dollars), by 2014 this had increased to $AU3.76B. If we account for population growth and the Australian Bureau of Statistics average Queensland household size of 2.6 people this equates to $2,014/household in 2004/5 and pretty much the same in 2014 ($2068/household).
There are two key points from these headline statistics; firstly that we blow $2,000 per household per year having a punt. While this seems like a lot of money to me, it looks like despite the increased opportunity to punt, we aren’t actually punting any more than we used to. This is not taking inflation into account, so we may even be getting less partial to a flutter.
Figure 1: Having a bet in Queensland – where and how much do we spend each month.
Where do we bet
It probably comes as no surprise that 56% of our gambling coin goes into the one armed bandits (electronic gaming machines for the younger readers). 17% is spent at Casinos followed by 12.4% spent on the lottery. Wagering (a punt on the footy, nags and dish-lickers) accounts for 11.4% and Keno cleans up the final 2.8%.
Figure 2: Where do we spend our punting dollar?
When do we bet
I was wondering if there was a particular time of year that we prefer to bet (the first Tuesday in November comes to mind). Figure 2 shows the monthly breakdown. February is the lowest month, but the upper and lower bounds (highest and lowest months) show that there is a pretty small inter-monthly range. I wouldn’t call any clear seasonal pattern from Figure 3.
Figure 3: Inter-monthly variation in betting (and broken down by gambling type)
How much do Queen-slanders Spend on the Melbourne Cup
The ‘race that stops a nation’ is run on the first Tuesday in November. If you take a close look at wagering in Figure 1 you will see a little spike each November. As a rough proxy for Melbourne cup betting I have taken away the average monthly wagering for each year (bar November) from the November wagering total to give a proxy for the Melbourne Cup betting value (Figure 3). This assumes that we maintain our level of betting on everything else but spend extra on the Melbourne Cup. It looks like we weren’t too interested in 2004 (2nd of Makybe Diva’s three in a row). But in 2013 we spent $11.5M on the Cup (Fiorente won).
Figure 3: How much do Queen-slanders punt on the Melbourne Cup
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