Gambling in NSW

Around one in two adults in NSW gamble. In the 12 months to February 2019, 53% of the NSW adult population participated in some form of gambling activity.

Lotteries were the most common form of gambling followed by gaming machines, instant scratchies and race betting. [i]

Common forms of gambling

Regions gambling more common infographic

Source: NSW Gambling Survey 2019

Popular forms of gambling infographic

How much is spent on gambling?

In 2016-17 $9.53 billion was spent on gambling in NSW, with $976 million spent on racing, $152 million spent on sports betting and $8.4 billion on gaming. 73% of gaming expenditure in NSW was on gaming machines.[ii]

Gambling expenditure facts

What proportion of people in NSW have gambling problems?

In NSW in 2019, it is estimated that 1% of the adult population are classified as problem gamblers according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Overall, 7.2% of people who gamble are considered to be a moderate-risk or problem gambler according to the PGSI [i]

Proportion gambling problems NSW infographic

Source: NSW Gambling Survey 2019

Forms of gambling high risk infographic

People with gambling problems can experience harm as a result of gambling. Gambling harm can relate to financial, health, relationships, education and employment, social and psychological well-being. Gambling harm doesn’t just affect the person who gambles, it can also affect those around them. It is estimated that for every person considered a problem gambler, six people are affected.[iv]

Who experiences gambling problems

Who experiences gambling problems?

People from all backgrounds and walks of life can experience gambling problems. However, research shows that people who experience gambling problems are more likely to be male, aged 18-24, single and unemployed.[v]

Problem gambler profile facts

What support is available?

The NSW Government funds support services across NSW for people affected by gambling.

Gambling Help NSW provides free, confidential support and advice for anyone experiencing problems with gambling, including support for family members and friends.

For more information call 1800 858 858 or visit the Gambling Help website.


[i] Roy Morgan (2018) NSW (excluding ACT) Gambling Industry – Market Overview. June 2018.

[ii] Queensland Government Statistician's Office (2018), Queensland Treasury, Australian Gambling Statistics, 34th edition.

[iii] Sproston, Hing & Palankay (2012) Prevalence of Gambling and Problem Gambling in New South Wales

[iv] Belinda C. Goodwin, Matthew Browne, Matthew Rockloff & Judy Rose (2017) A typical problem gambler affects six others, International Gambling Studies, 17:2, 276-289

[v] Armstrong, A., & Carroll, M. (2017). Gambling activity in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre.