As per the Sydney Morning Herald, the latest edition of The Economist, Australians have been ranked as the world's biggest gamblers and spent the equivalent of $1208.75 each on gambling last year.
"Australia has led for the past decade, since we started doing this, and has always been well ahead of the other nations," said Joel Keeble of H2 Gambling Capital, which provided the British publication's data.
AdvertisementIgnoring the statistical anomaly that is Singapore - its two new casinos nearly match the entire Las Vegas strip in terms of the gambling spend - the next closest competition for Australia is Ireland, which spent less than half as much on gambling.
Electronic gaming machines, the catch-all term that includes poker machines, account for most of this outsized lead on other developed nations, H2 said, but it noted Australians' propensity to engage in a range of forms of gambling.
This now includes bets on next month's interest rate decision by the Reserve Bank after the commission dropped attempts to ban the practice.
As of yesterday, the betting agency that the commission targeted, Centrebet, was offering punters a 1.12 dollars return if interest rates remain unchanged and 26 dollars if they are cut.
The corporate watchdog objected on the grounds that this amounts to trading in derivatives without a financial licence - a reference to the exotic financial instruments that helped trigger the global financial crisis.
But the most contentious issue remains Australians' love affair with poker machines. This accounts for the big gap with the rest of the developed world when it comes to gambling expenditure.
A report by the Productivity Commission said 19 billion dollars was spent on gambling in 2008-09, 12 billion dollars of it on poker machines.
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