Sports betting has doubled with young people at risk

SOUTHERN Cross University has weighed on the issue of betting in sport with new research showing young people are at risk.

The university conducted a phone survey of 15,000 people and found that while fewer Australians are having a punt, sports betting participation has doubled.

Sports betting rose from 0.6% in 1999 to 8.06 per cent last year, while the general rate of gambling dropped from 82 per cent to 64%.

The university's Centre for Gambling Education and Research's Dr Sally Gainsbury said that young people were at risk of being drawn into risk-taking online betting.

Sports betting rose from 0.6% in 1999 to 8.06%  last year.


"Young people need to be educated about risks of internet gambling and in particular the use of offshore sites, which may have few responsible gambling and consumer protection strategies in place," she said.

The survey showed that interactive online gamblers are likely to be younger male adults, with a university education and internet access at both home and work.

Internet gamblers reported losing more money each year than regular offline gamblers, using electronic payment methods to increase their spend rate.

In what may come as a surprise to some, the most popular form of gambling was the lottery, followed by scratchies, race betting and electronic gaming machines, such as the pokies.

The study also showed that free-play gambling activities had risen at a rapid rate since '99 and the university warned that these games had the potential to normalise gambling in young people.