Australians and New Zealanders never shied away from putting a few hard earned bucks on sports betting. In fact, these two countries are thought to be protagonists when it comes to online betting, and this trend started back in the 90s’. Since then the industry grew by a few folds, but in recent years the growth achieved by the betting industry has been astronomical, to say the least. It is estimated that one in seven people in Australia and New Zealand are betting on sports or playing online casinos.
We talked to several industry experts who deal with online betting and casinos, and most of them cited the widespread availability of online betting sites and a lax regulation compared to other countries as the main reasons behind such rapid growth in the betting industry. In fact, around 53% of bets placed in 2013 were supposed to be sports betting. There are casinos, and online sites that are open 24/7 and people can bet during any time of the day. For example, an NBA match is taking place right now in the USA, which is at a different time zone than that of Australia and New Zealand, but with the help of these online betting sites, residents of these two countries can place wagers real time.
A pro-betting government:
Before 2008, the Australian government restricted betting companies from advertising in a different jurisdiction than that of they are licensed to. But in recent years an Australian high court overruled this and allowed betting companies to advertise cross platforms. This allowed multinational companies to have more freedom and hence their number in Australia and New Zealand quadrupled within a short space of time, and as a matter of fact, they are reaping the benefits of the enormous popularity of online gaming in these countries.
Less brick and mortar casinos and betting houses:
In the past before the widespread use of the internet, bettors mainly relied on brick and mortar casinos. But there are several downsides of having a physical presence including increased operational costs and location-specific regulations. But with the advent of online betting, companies are gradually shying away from physical betting houses and casinos and are spreading their presence on the online platform. This has reduced the operational costs significantly, and customers can easily place their wagers from the comfort of their sofas. We talked with a professor at Sydney University who asked to remain anonymous. He told us online betting is getting increasingly popular among the young generation. They are more tech-savvy and are less inclined to visit physical shops for gaming. Plus, he expects further growth in betting industry citing an upturn in financial fortunes for average Australian and New Zealanders. Well, this revelation wouldn’t be a surprise for most betting companies as more and more betting companies from around the globe are making their presence felt in the Oceania region.
There are several factors that could be cited as the reasons behind such rapid growth of online betting. While the land-based casinos aren’t done with yet, online betting organizations offer something extra to their customers that land-based casinos often fail to provide. For example, online casinos have a greater catalog of games to choose from. One can visit several betting sites, review their game catalogs, compare and contrast between them and choose the best one that suits their needs. This would have been almost impossible if customers were to check land-based casinos one by one. Besides, one wouldn’t have to go outside, travel a few miles to find a suitable physical casino. Rather they can sit on their sofa, enjoy a soda can and skip through online sites one by one. Plus, there are numerous websites dedicated to Australian and New Zealanders that review online casinos, give a detailed account of their game catalogs and betting practices. Users can easily avail all the necessary information from there.
Then there is the issue of bonuses. Almost all online bookmakers offer varying amount of bonuses and promotional offers to their clients, which is hard to come by at land-based casinos. Besides, there is the benefit of varying wager amount that customers can place on online betting sites. It is not necessary that one would have to splash a large amount for betting, which is almost a norm at land-based casinos, rather they can place a bet for as minimum as $0.10, which is surely a tasty proposition for the customer who isn’t willing to spend large amount just for betting.
Another strong point that works in favor of online gaming is the multi-platform support. Previously online gaming was restricted to personal computers and laptops. But with the evolution of the modern smartphone, Australian and New Zanders can now bet using their Android smartphones, iPhones, tablets, and even digital televisions. However, one sticking point is that the marketing of online gaming is still in their infancy. But this is sure to change as days go by and with further resources and customer tracking abilities companies would be able to target their audiences based on their past betting behavior.
Commercial agreements between sporting entities and betting companies:
Now a day, one can find a betting company sponsoring the jersey of an Australian A-league soccer team or working as a technical sponsor for New Zealand cricket team. More and more sporting entities are embracing the idea of collaborating with a bookmaker to enrich their coffers as well as allowing the fans to put wagers on their favorite team. Two of the most prominent Australian sporting entities, namely National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL) have already commercial agreements in place with betting companies. One can find advertisements of these companies on the different billboards both within and outside the stadium during match days and special occasions. This specific practice is thought to have contributed to a large extent to popularize online gaming in the region.
The thing with regulations:
In a nutshell, despite massive growth and burgeoning popularity, there are several restrictions on online betting in all the countries where betting is legal. In a sense, these regulations have become complex over the years. But this hasn’t deterred Australian and New Zealanders from participating in online betting. In fact, from time to time the public in both these countries have pressurized the government in relaxing the regulations. While, at first, the government didn’t buckle down under pressure, recently there are signs that the government is ready to give in in response to public demands.
There are reports that both the Australian and New Zealand government are working in tandem with other nations to make sure of a safe gaming platform for all the residents in Australia and Zealand. This is a good sign for all the bettors and enthusiasts, and people can expect further growth in offshore online betting in these countries. But there are several demerits to online betting practices too such as fraudulent betting practices, money laundering and scamming. If the government can buckle down those negative trends, then Australia and New Zealand can expect a rosy future in this sector.