A fascinating, and depressing, graph popped up in The Economist this week …
It got us thinking. If every Australian over 17 loses an average of $1300 a year on gambling — that’s about $22 billion for the whole country each year — how does this compare with the money we actually spend on tangible things? And how does it compare to the money that we could spend on important or valuable things?
- Gambling losses are about half what we spend on medical care and health.
- We lose almost five times more on gambling than we spend on foreign aid.
- Australians lose more on gambling than we spend on our military budget.
- We lose 50 times more on gambling than our governments spend on museums.
- Australian adults lose more on gambling that the average Australian household broadly spends on fuel or personal care.
- Our gambling losses are greater than the entire GDP more than 65 countries.
The statisticians describe it as “loss per resident adult”.
Shouldn’t it really be described as “the misguided extravagance of a rich country that needs to get its priorities and moral compass readjusted”?