Betting on races attracts older gamblers than sports betting

New research from Roy Morgan shows 1.8 million Australians aged 18+ place bets in an average three months.


The figure includes 1.5 million who bet on racing events (7.9% of Australian adults) and over 620,000 (3.2%) who place Sports bets


Analysing betting patterns over the last year shows a decline in Australians placing bets on Racing events including Horse Racing, Harness Racing and Greyhound Racing while more Australians than a year ago are now betting on Sports.


Men are far more likely to bet than women with 12.3% of men in an average three months now having a bet compared to only 6% of women.


Betting on Racing is most appealing for 50-79 year olds. Over 10% of Australians aged 50-64 years old and 9.3% of 65-79 year olds bet on Racing compared to only 3.1% of 18-24 year olds.

In fact 18-24 year olds are more likely to bet on Sports (3.6%) than Racing – the only age group for which Sports betting is more popular.


The likelihood of betting on Sport increases to 3.8% of 25-34 year olds and 4.9% of 35-49 year olds before dropping off substantially for Australians aged 50+ years old.


The differential is most stark for Australians aged 80+ years old with 8.2% betting on Racing compared to less than 1% that bet on Sports.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2018 - March 2019. n=14,114. Base: Australians 18+. 

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says although long-term trends show a decline in the number of Australians having a bet, there are growth areas for betting companies with over 620,000 Australians now betting on sport up over 10% from a year ago.


“Roy Morgan’s latest Gambling Currency Report shows there are now 1.8 million Australians having a bet including 1.5 million who bet on Racing events such as Horse Racing, Harness Racing and Greyhound Racing and over 620,000 who bet on Sport.


“Although there is significant cross-over between Australians who bet on Racing events and those betting on Sports, there’s no doubt betting on Racing on the whole skews to an older audience than Sports betting.


“The two age groups most likely to bet on Racing events are aged 50-64 years old (10.1%) or 65-79 years old (9.3%).


In contrast the age groups most likely to bet on Sport are all aged under 50 years old led by 35-49 year olds (4.9%), 25-34 year olds (3.8%) and 18-24 year olds (3.6%). The youngest age group is the only age group more likely to bet on Sport than Racing events.


“However, although betting on Racing is more widespread, Sports betting is where the growth is in 2019. Sports betting has grown by over 10% from a year ago and with popular sports including the AFL and NRL as well as several World Cups being held this year including the Cricket World Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup and later this year the Rugby World Cup there are plenty of high profile sporting contests for gambling Australians to try their luck on.”


17 June 2019.