Aussies spend more on gambling than they do on utility bills

But the days of cheap water and electricity may be numbered

The independent Australian company Commonwealth Securities Limited (CommSec) has released some startling figures on the gambling funds spent by Australians in relation to other essential living costs like water and electricity.

Analysing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Commsec found that on average the Aussies live up to their international reputation as big gamblers, spending more money on gambling than they put aside for gas, electricity bills, phone bills, water and petrol.

By the numbers, CommSec found the average Australian household spent A$2292 on gambling in the last year compared with A$1830 on gas and electricity bills, A$2056 on petrol and A$1996 on telephone and internet bills.

Craig James, chief economist at CommSec called the figures "staggering".

"The money spent on gambling far exceeds the total outlays on electricity and gas bills," he told NineMSN news this week. "And only until recently outlays on gambling exceeded that of electricity, gas and water bills combined."

CommSec’s analysis also found that Australians pay a relatively low amount for water, with the average household spending A$634 per year on water bills.

“The modest amount spent by the average household on water and sewerage services seems out of kilter with the relative scarcity of water,” James said. “With population expected to continue rising at a solid clip in coming years, it is likely that the cost of water will have to rise substantially to ensure that pricing reflects its relative scarcity.”

Households will also see utility bills rise by 14 -15 percent over the coming year due to the largest increase in pricing for 26 years.

According to CommSec’s analysis, that means households will need to find an additional A$1830 to pay electricity, gas and fuel bills and A$634 to pay water bills.

The question is, will the increased cost of living deter Aussies from gambling?

http://money.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=924240

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