What distinguishes Australia’s high-staking gamblers from the rest?
June 7th, 2023, Oliver Rowe

What distinguishes Australia’s high-staking gamblers from the rest?

What distinguishes Australia’s high-staking gamblers from the rest?

Gamblers who stake more than $500 each month make up a fair slice of all monthly gamblers in Australia (excluding lottery-only players) at 21%. In this piece, we examine who these ‘high-staking bettors’ are, their betting preferences and what motivations fuel their betting behaviour.

The demographics

Relative to Australian gamblers who stake lower amounts each month, the high-staking bettors tend to be more male (77% of high stakers vs 64% of lower stakers) but are a significantly younger cohort with those aged 25-44 making up 63% of the high-staking cohort, but only 40% of lower staking gamblers.

Income data also shows that high-staking bettors far likelier to belong to the higher-income group (defined as higher than 200% of the median) than lower staking gamblers (70% vs 30%).

What do they bet on?

High-staking bettors are more likely than lower staking bettors to have bet on every online game type from sports to bingo, in the past month, except lottery. Over half (52%) of higher stakers have bet on sports online versus only 30% of lower stakers, and the same is true when we look at offline betting we find 37% of higher stakers have bet on sports with a physical bookmakers or at a track compared with only 11% of lower stakers. Higher stakers are also far more likely to play fantasy sports online (41% vs 7%).

Away from sports, high-staking bettors over-index on all other major betting categories. They are far more likely to have played casino table and other card games online (52% vs 11%). They are also significantly more likely to have played casino slots games online (52% vs 13%), online poker (51% vs 16%), skill games (40% vs 10%), and bingo/keno (33% vs 14%). Another area of interest for higher stakers are online live streaming casino game shows (11% vs 2%) and streaming casino table games (8% vs 3%).

Which online bookmakers do they use, and how to they select one?

Looking at the online betting sites they use, the most used site is bet365 where 36% of higher stakers say they used it in the past week compared with just 15% of lower stakers who used it. When we look across the other major brands we find that the higher stakers over-index on nearly all, in particular FantasyAFL (16% vs 2%), PointsBet (16% vs 5%) and Betway (15% vs 4%), but this is not the case with SportsBet (18% vs 23%) or TAB (15% vs 16%).

When it comes to how these high and low stakers pick an online betting provider, ease of use of the site/app is top for both groups (50% vs 37%) but having the best selection of matches/sports to bet is second for higher stakers (45% vs 20%), while having a wide range of gambling types (38% vs 17%) and having the best selection of slots/games to play (35% vs 17%) also over index highly.

Which sports do they bet on?

High-stakes bettors are more likely to have bet on almost every sport than lower staking bettors except for horse racing which only a quarter (25%) of higher stakers have bet on but it tops the list for lower stakers (36%).

Looking at all other sports, where higher stakers over-index across the board, we find the top sports for them are rugby league (36% vs 18%), rugby union (33% vs 9%), tennis (32% vs 15%) and AFL (31% vs 20%). Other areas of betting also skew to higher stakers including political elections at 15% vs 5%.

What fuels their betting choices?

Six in ten of high-staking bettors say they only use betting sites that offer loyalty schemes (62%), significantly higher than the two fifths of lower staking bettors (41%). But the attraction towards loyalty schemes does not keep high spenders tethered to one bookmaker – two thirds of them agree they “like to try new gambling/betting sites that I’ve not come across before” (67% vs 37%) and 70% agree they use “specialised websites to get the best odds” compared with only 38% of lower stakers. They are also a little more likely to be tempted by a free bet with 75% agreeing they look out special promotions offering free bets compared with 51% of lower stakers.

Methodology: Data is taken from YouGov’s Global Gambling Profiles tool which interviewed a representative sample of 3,944 regular gamblers across January, February and March 2023. Fieldwork was completed online and all respondents are members of YouGov’s Australian panel of survey respondents.

Image Credit: Darya Sannikova on Pexels