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Why is Sports Betting So Popular in Australia

Given its relative size, in population terms, if not in terms of the size of the country itself, Australia is certainly punching above its weight when it comes to its sports betting market, but why is this the case?

Australia is a sports-mad country that is very much invested in a number of different sporting leagues and types when it comes to betting. In 2022 the amount of money taken in sports bets went over $50 billion, which is an astonishing sum. 

green money flying

A survey of Australians suggested that an incredible 96% of Australians between the age of 18-24 had gambled for money, and the casino market, and in particular, slots (known as pokies in Australia), were extremely popular.

The market in horse and sports betting is said to have grown 3.8% every year on average from 2018 and 2023. Much of the sporting activity relates to sports that are popular in Australia and usually where players and teams from the country are doing well, and below; you’ll see a breakdown of the ten most popular sports betting types.

soccer ball on pitch

Some of the Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Australia:

  • Australian Rules Football
  • Horse Racing
  • Golf
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • American Football
  • Tennis 
  • Motor Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball


State-sanctioned gambling in Australia has a long and rich history that dates all the way back to 1810, when it’s believed that betting was taking place at the first organized horse race.

horse racing

Horse betting has been legal for a long time, but sports betting as a whole wasn’t actually legal until 1983, but that doesn’t mean betting didn’t take place before then. Online sports betting launched in 1996 and has proven a big success in terms of the level of revenue the licensed operators are making.

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