Top 15 Obscure and Fascinating Australian Gambling Facts


Gambling is a tremendously popular hobby for a great number of people around the globe. It is a pastime with thousands of years of history and tradition in most cultures of the world. Australia is no different.

These days, it’s relatively easy for anyone to gamble no matter where they’re from. The popularity of online casinos and apps is on the rise, which makes it easy to gamble without even leaving your house.

It’s a relatively well-known fact that Aussie’s love to gamble. However, do you realize how many interesting facts and tales there are? We’re sure you haven’t. Therefore, we have compiled a list of 15 fascinating Australian gambling facts for your enjoyment.

15. Aussies Will Bet on Family Members

Peter Edwards, a Welsh-Australian, placed a £50 bet at a William Hill bookie establishment that his grandson, who was only 18 months old at the time, will become a professional football player. He ended up winning £125,000 when Harry Wilson, his grandson, made his football debut in Wales in 2013.

14. Aboriginal People Are More Likely to Gamble

Aboriginal people tend to be more inclined to gambling than non-Aboriginals. Furthermore, in them, problem gambling occurs much more frequently than the non-Aboriginal population. Amongst other things, that can be linked to the socio-economic status, with Aboriginals having half the median household income of your regular non-Aboriginal household, as well as tragically high unemployment rates. Various studies have found that problem gambling occurs more frequently in populations with such socio-economic disadvantages.

13. Mr. Anonymous


One of the greatest casino scams ever pulled off was carried out by an Australian. This Aussie player went home with $32 million by abusing a venue’s surveillance system. The identity of the player is unknown to this day, although, it is believed that he was one of the regular VIP high rollers.

12. The Long History of Pokie Machines in Australia

Slot machines are actually called pokies in Australia. The name originated in the early 20th century when slots first appeared in Australia. In those early days, they were placed right next to poker machines, which inadvertently resulted in slots being called pokies, which is just a short way to say poker machine, even though they’re two completely different contraptions.

11. Australia’s Casino Pub Jackpot Cap

If you’re gambling in an Aussie casino pub, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised that there’s a jackpot cap. The maximum size of the jackpot is limited to $10,000. In addition, the house edge is quite high, which cause players to lose more and more money the longer they play.

10. Australia Has a Long Tradition of Online Casinos

Our Australian friends have always been trailblazers in the domain of online gambling. For over 20 years, Australia has been home to online casinos. In 1994, the nation of Antigua and Barbuda issued their first-ever licenses for online gambling, which signalled the birth of online casinos in Australia. Even today, most Aussie online casinos still operate under those Caribbean licenses.

9. Poker Machine Monopoly


Have you heard of Woolworths? It is practically the poker machine entity in Australia. The behemoth supermarket chain owns 11,000 poker machines across Australia. That is six times more poker machines than the six biggest Las Vegas casinos combined. They earn over $200 million every year from gambling.

8. Australia’s High-Risk, High-Loss Poker Machines

Australia has a greater number of high-loss poker machines per capita than every other country. The average maximum loss rate is $720 in Australia. Furthermore, if you compare it to New Zealand, the U.K., or Japan, which have $156, $130, $52 respectively, you see how tilted the machines are. The U.S. is the only country which is near Australia’s loss rate, standing at around $705 per hour.

7. Australia’s Biggest Poker Cashout Was Won by a Foreigner

Antonio Esfandiari, a U.S. citizen, won over $23 million during the 2012 World Series of Poker. The entry fee itself was $1 million. That was almost double the entire lifetime earnings of Joe Hachem, a legendary former world champion that hails from Australia.

6. Almost Half of Australia’s Adults Prefer Poker

Over 40% of Australian adults have stated that their prefered game was poker. Poker is one of the most skill-based games in the gambling world and has a relatively small house edge.

5. Australia Is Home to Over 200,000 Pokies

With about 20% of all electronic gambling machines in the world, Australia has a strong claim as one of the gambling capitals of the world. There are more than 200,000 machines, and over 50% of them can be found in New South Wales, which is Australia’s most famous gambling state.


4. Death and Taxes

The only things certain in this life are death and taxes — to quote the popular idiom. If you look into who actually wins the most in the Australian gambling world, it’s the Australian government. Each year, the Australian government earns billions from gambling taxes imposed on casinos.

3. Australians Are (Not) Losers

Most gamblers from the Land Down Under lose between $350 and $12,000 each year. However, they play more than most, and they don’t shy away from betting big, and they’re not the biggest losers in the world. American gamblers are the ones who lose more money than anybody else in the world.

2. Aussies Bet Bold and Big

With about $18 billion gambled away in a year, Australians truly are top dogs when it comes to betting big. Aussies bet more cash per capita than all other countries. That includes all forms of casino games, sports betting, poker, and all the other types of gambling.

1. Aussies Simply Love to Gamble

According to a recent study by the Australian Gambling Research Centre, Aussies are the biggest gamblers in the world. With over 80% of the population gambling one way or another, Australia truly cements its reputation as a true gambling nation.

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