Sports betting is big business in Australia. In 2015, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey found that more than 500,000 Aussies had gambled on sports that year. 88% of those people were men, and sports betting accounted for 44% of gambling activity in Australia.
Fast forward a few years, and the industry remains a major source of entertainment for millions. Indeed, in 2019, betting turnover in the Northern Territory was $14.6 billion for horse racing alone. New South Wales was second in the pecking order with annual racing revenue of $6.4 billion, followed by Western Australia and Queensland, both turning over $1.8 billion each.
Betting is Big Business at Home and Abroad
The proof isn’t only in the money that sports betting generates. Betting companies sponsor sporting events, pay for TV commercials and have deals with sports stars. The reality is that betting on sport is a big business in Australia and, moreover, the world at large. That may not seem like it’s important to sports teams, players, and fans, but it does have an impact on the sport. You only have to look across to the UK to see the impact betting can have on a game. Football (soccer) is a multi-billion-dollar industry that generates revenue and interest from various sectors. One of these sectors is sports betting.
The ability to wager money via online platforms such as bet365 helps to enrich a sport. Yes, there’s the fact you can bet on a particular team, player or score. However, the industry is much more than that. Modern online sportsbooks offer statistics, results, betting tips, news updates and live streams. In short, they’ve become digital hubs for everything you want to know about a sport. So, if you open a betting site and tap the Aussie Rules tab, you’d be able to access a wealth of information about Aussie Rules betting, from the next batch of games and league standings to data on which team has the longest winning streak. Everything you want to know as a fan is there.
More Ways to Engage Means More Opportunities for Football
What all of this does is create more buzz around a sport. Of course, we all know that football is big in Australia. TV ratings in 2019 showed that 111.4 million people watched Aussie Rules throughout the year. In 2020, a single weekend of action attracted 5.1 million viewers. Unsurprisingly, the majority of those tuning in were Australians. However, in this new digital age, there are many opportunities to grow the sport and take it to a global audience. That’s where the betting sector could be useful, as sports betting is popular in many countries around the world.
Many customers won’t have watched an Aussie Rules football game before. However, if there’s a wealth of information at their fingertips, along with some betting odds, they may be encouraged to tune in. That’s how growth happens.
We’re not saying that the betting industry is going to cause an explosion of international interest in footy. We’re not even saying that it’s the only way to make our national sport a global hit. More interest means more opportunities, more revenue and, ultimately, more entertainment. While it may seem like an unlikely source of assistance, sports betting could certainly help the sport grow.