Back To Listing

Country Australians still gamble more than city-dwellers (but both are down on a decade ago)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013-June 2014 (n=15,998).

What a difference a decade makes. In the year to June 2004, 71% of Australians aged 18+ took part in at least one form of gambling in an average three-month period. Fast forward to June 2014, and that figure has fallen to 50%. This decline is evident across most types of gambling, and in capital cities, regional towns and rural areas. However, gambling is still more widespread in country Australia than in its capitals.

According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, 56% of country-dwellers gambled in an average three-month period during the year to June 2014 (down from 74% a decade earlier), compared with 47% of capital city residents (down from 69%). Lottery and Scratch tickets are the most popular form of gambling for both groups, followed by poker machines.

Country residents vs capital city dwellers: % gambled in an average 3 months


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013-June 2014 (n=15,998).

WA: you’ve gotta be in to win it

With 54% of its residents partaking in any given three months, Perth tops the capital cities for gambling incidence, while people living in regional Western Australia lead the country at 63%.  For a state where poker machines are outlawed everywhere except Crown Perth Casino, these statistics may seem surprising at first glance. Indeed, pokies participation in WA is well below the national average.

Where Sandgropers over-index is in Lottery and Scratch participation. In the year to June 2014, 52% of Western Australians bought a Lotto or Scratch ticket in an average three months.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Although gambling participation has declined around Australia in the last decade, one trend remains unchanged: that of country people being more likely than city dwellers to have gambled in an average three months.

“Roy Morgan Research’s ground-breaking profiling tool Helix Personas can help governments and other organisations identify and understand those individuals most likely to gamble. For example, people from the Rural Traditionalists and Still Working segments are among those that come in well above average in terms of gambling participation.

“These two personas are older, based in country areas, and tend to hold conservative values. Many are retired; those still in employment earn modest to low incomes. While the hope of a much-needed financial windfall certainly motivates both groups’ gambling habits, Still Working in particular also enjoy the social aspect to playing the pokies at their local RSL.”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s gambling data, please contact:

Angela Smith, Group Account Director – Consumer Products
Office: +61 (2) 9021 9101

Related research findings

Learn more about Helix Personas, Roy Morgan's new classification system for Australia's multi-dimensional communities.

The Roy Morgan Gambling Currency Report provides an overview of the gambling industry, measuring size of total gambling market and its 3 main components: Gaming, Wagering and Lotteries/ Scratch tickets, and changes over time. The report also looks at participation, cross-category participation and internet usage.

Click here to view our Gambling Industry Reports, including Gambling Trends which examines current and future trends driving Australia’s gambling sector with a focus on leisure and gambling trends, including participation in traditional leisure activities and gambling incidence, methods, expenditure and frequency.

Click here to view our extensive range of Gambling Profiles, including visitor profiles for gambling venues across Australia. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%