Friday, June 18, 2004

Australia has one of the biggest gambling industries in the world. Some 330,000 Australians are classified as problem gamblers, losing an average of about A$12,000 ( £5,000) a year each and suffering social difficulties including family break-ups, suicidal tendencies and involvement in crime.

Gambling has been legal since the beginning of European settlement and is more firmly entrenched than in many other societies, says Jan McMillen, head of the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University in Canberra. Australia in 1916 became one of the first countries in the world to institute state lotteries; without them Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge would never have been built. About 85 per cent of people bet at least once a year, half of that number regularly.

Sounds incredulous, never thought of Australia as a gambling haven, but if 330000 are "problem gamblers" then somebody has to make all the money, other than the Casino's. Inanest post of the year. Dint think enough as to why I found it so interesting.


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