Australians are gambling more than ever before… and the gambling industry has no idea why.
The latest national accounts, released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that for the year ending September 2015, Australians lost over $24 billion gambling. We’re spending more money faster and breaking records every year.
The gambling industry says they’re baffled by the surge in losses.
“Honestly? We’re gobsmacked,” a representative of a major poker machine manufacturer said yesterday. “I mean sure, we spend millions upon millions of dollars developing new games every year and yes, we load them up with all the tricks we’ve got to make them addictive, but I don’t see how that could lead to people losing record amounts of money. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Sports bookmakers are also at a loss to explain why they’re making more money than ever before. A leading Australian online bookmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity, has an interesting theory.
“If you want my opinion, I think they bet with us because we’re ridiculously good-looking,” he said, his boyish grin twinkling. “What else could it be? Yes, we advertise, but who doesn’t?”
He paused for a moment and flicked a speck of dust from the sleeve of his Armani suit.
“Sure, we put ourselves all over railway stations and trams, and we release ridiculous blokey YouTube ads, and we make gambling look cool and sexy. But everyone knows it’s a mug’s game. It’s not our fault that people want to lose their money with us!”
In light of the recent increase in losses, the government has announced an inquiry into the situation.
“It’s clear that something needs to be done,” a spokesperson for the Gambling Minister said this morning. “If Australians are losing record amounts of money gambling each year, then we need to be better placed to tax as much of that money as possible. How else can we help people with gambling problems?”
The government has also launched a new campaign called “Help Us Help You”, aimed at encouraging people to lose even more money gambling. “They’re already losing it,” the spokesperson said. “Now we have a catchy campaign to make them feel better about it.”