Austrians spend more on gambling than education - new study

Austrians spend about a third more on gambling than education

A new study released this week by Region Plan Consulting is likely to ignite a lively debate; according to the consulting firm Austrians spend about a third more on gambling than they do on education.

The average per capita consumer spending on gambling has climbed every year from Euro 460 in 2001 to Euro 1,020 in 2009, the study found. By way of contrast, spending on education increased from Euro 440 to Euro 670 over the same period.

The study shows that the proportion of household expenditure on gambling in the period grew from 1.4 to 2.5 percent. The size of the domestic gambling market for online sport betting and casinos was up to Euro 3.7 billion in 2009.

Lottery officials will be concerned at the claim that the share of traditional lotto gaming in Austria's gambling market has continued to decline, and in 2009 is around one third lower than was the case in 2001.

Region Plan Consulting claims that more than 50 percent of Austrians' expenditure on gambling is now spent on internet betting and slot machines, and is now close to tourist spending, which increased18.5 percent from 2001 to 2009.

Michael Oberweger, an executive at Region Plan pointed out that new forms of gambling such as internet betting have become increasingly more attractive to Austrian punters, while the overall market for traditional lottery games has stagnated.

Ultimately, the sharp rise of expenditure on gambling was an indicator of the increased prosperity in Austria, he said.

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