Spending on Lotto and Instant Scratch Tickets in Australia Continues to Increase Despite Cost of Living Pressures

February 12, 2024 | Lottery News

AUSTRALIA (February 12, 2024) — The increase in spending on lotto and Instant Scratch tickets in Australia, despite cost of living pressures, is notable. The data from Queensland’s Statistician’s Office reveals a significant rise in spending on lotteries, reaching over $7 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, compared to $4.3 billion in 2010-11 and $3.4 billion in 2000-01.

The report indicates that New South Wales residents spent the most at $1.9 billion, followed by Victorians at $1.8 billion, and Queenslanders at $1.4 billion. A separate report from the Queensland Audit Office found that Queenslanders lost over $500 million to lotteries in the 2022-23 period.

Associate Professor Alex Russell from CQ University’s Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory suggests that the allure of a better life and the chance to escape financial difficulties drive people to participate in lotteries. He notes that while the negative impacts of lotto are not as prevalent as other forms of gambling, the odds of winning a large jackpot are extremely low, at one in 100 million.

Dr. Russell identifies poker machines as the most harmful form of gambling, followed by sports and race betting. Despite the low probability of winning, the hope of a life-changing jackpot may be particularly attractive to individuals facing lower socioeconomic status.

The report also mentions that, historically, lotteries were used by Australian governments to fund major projects, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. In Queensland, 20 percent of the $1.9 billion collected in gambling taxes and levies is attributed to lotteries taxes.

While some may view spending money on lotteries during cost of living pressures as counterintuitive, Dr. Russell explains that the fear of missing out on a potential win could drive individuals to participate in draws, even if it means spending money they can ill afford.

SOURCE: LI Contributor.