November 20, 2023 3 min read


Australia’s Gambling Industry Impacts Politics, Report

While the gambling industry wins in the political game through successful lobbying, vulnerable groups lose, affected by problem gambling and gambling harm

Gambling is identified as a public health risk in Australia, considering that hundreds of millions are lost to the activity on a monthly basis. The losses to gambling on a yearly basis are in billions, a warning sign that many people are affected by the activity and may suffer from at-risk or problem gambling. Before the pandemic, Australians spent an estimated AU$5.6 billion ($3.66 billion) on online gambling. Such expenses soared to a staggering AU$9.6 billion ($6.3 billion) in 2022, up by more than 70%.

With hundreds of millions lost to gambling every month, lawmakers in Australia post the elections confirmed their dedication to implementing meaningful changes to the sector, ensuring the protection of consumers and reducing the money lost to gambling. With changes varying from state to state, New South Wales (NSW), for example, the new regulations included a ban on external gambling advertising. The ban, affecting pubs and clubs across NSW, was implemented on September 1, with the gambling regulator, Liquor and Gaming NSW, confirming last month that an overwhelming majority of the operators, or 99%, complied with the new requirements.

Gambling Industry Wins at the Political Game Through Lobbying

A recent report released by the Australian Financial Review criticizes the strong impact of the gambling sector on political decisions through lobbying and donations. Grattan Institute’s researchers, Kate Griffiths and Elizabeth Baldwin, discussed the topic in a recent op-ed, highlighting the influence of the gambling industry on political parties through lavish events, including dining, wine tasting and donations. According to the duo, while gambling companies may win in the political game through successful lobbying, ultimately, vulnerable groups are the losers in this game, as they can be affected by problem gambling and gambling harm.

The two researchers supported the idea of transparency explaining that more information needs to be disclosed on lobbying activities “clarifying the conflict of interest rules for all parliamentarians.” Moreover, Griffiths and Baldwin explained: “Transparency can create political costs that might make our politicians think twice.”

While lobbying isn’t against the law, disclosing more information and decreasing the influence of the gambling sector and its hefty donations can reduce the dependence of political parties on the sector. According to the researchers, this can also be achieved by introducing a limit for advertising expenses during political elections. The duo warned that until there is an effective change in the rules, the losers in this race will be the regular gamblers.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that seeks to prohibit the use of credit cards for online gambling activities. The bill was first introduced last week in September and came amid growing concern about an increase in problem gambling rates.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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