Australian sports betting is on the rise, as reported by articles today from the Herald Sun
and Daily Telegraph
. Of course the lamestream media couldn’t help themselves with their sensationalist headlines – does anyone really believe that “rising online betting fears” really are “gripping the nation” or that sports betting has become an “epidemic” down under?
There’s been a nearly 23% rise on visits to Australian sports betting and lottery sites (how they lump these two together is beyond me) over a six month span between last December and this May; truly an impressive increase in a relatively short amount of time. What does this mean? Australians like to bet, just like citizens from every other country in the world!
The biggest concern for the Aussie’s appears to be the rising offshore competition against their legal, licensed and regulated sportsbooks. And there is also the tried and true, over-the-top fear mongering from the politicians about the supposed evils of sports betting; the same type of thing that the more moralistic politicians here in the U.S. love to hold press conferences about.
Australian Senator Nick Xenophon personifies that mentality with this quote:
"If you think things are bad now with problem gambling, you will see a whole new generation of young people who won't be able to afford to buy their own car, put a deposit on their first home or go on that big overseas trip because they've blown it on online gambling through sports betting."
Would it really be so bad if this university researcher’s prophecy came true? "We keep hearing this argument that it is going to become normalised, and we would argue that it is already normalised in some groups," Monash University marketing researcher Dr Samantha Thomas said. "For young men, this is becoming a normal part of their sporting experience."
I've gotta say, it's pretty 'normalized' in my world, and that's not a bad thing...