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Prevalence of gambling and problem gambling in New South Wales (2012)

About the study

The project carried out by Ogilvy Illumination examined the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling in NSW from the 2011 NSW Gambling Survey.

The survey findings suggest that 65% of the NSW population had participated in at least one activity in the last 12 months.

The most popular gambling activity was lottery products (41%), followed by instant scratch tickets (28%), pokies/gaming machines (27%), horse/greyhound races (24%), Keno (14%), sports betting (8%), table games in a casino (7%), private card games for money (3%), bingo (3%), and casino or pokies-style games on the Internet (2%).

The current prevalence of problem gambling in NSW, as defined by the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is 0.8% (or n=39,840 adults). An additional 2.9% of the sample was classified as 'moderate risk' gamblers.

Men were more likely than women to be problem gamblers (1.4% compared with 0.1% of women) and prevalence was higher among younger age groups (e.g. 2.4% among men aged 18-24).

The prevalence of problem gambling in NSW varied by Regional Coordination Program Region, from 0.3% in South West Sydney and the Hunter region, through to 1.6% in the Riverina/Murray region.

Problem gambling prevalence was associated with level of education, being lowest among those with university degrees (0.1%) and highest among those who left school before Year 10 (2.6%).

The prevalence of problem gambling was highest among NSW residents who were single or separated/divorced/widowed (1.2% compared with 0.5% of those who were married or living as married).

Problem gambling prevalence was three times as high among unemployed people (3.2%) than those who were in full time work (1.0%).

Respondents of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent were more likely than others to have gambled in the last year (72% compared with 65%), and were more likely to be problem gamblers (1.7% compared with 0.8%) and also moderate risk gamblers (4.3% compared with 2.9%).  

These findings provide useful information for policy and legislation on the nature of the NSW gambling population.

Read the report​.

How to cite this report

Ogilvy Illumination 2012, Prevalence of gambling and problem gambling in New South Wales. Liquor and Gaming NSW. Sydney.

Main list of gambling research reports here.