October was an interesting month for gamblers and the companies hoping to relieve them of their cash.
Last month was unusual in that it contained 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, and as the weekends are when most people gamble, the extra weekend contributed to huge volumes of money being spent on wagering.
However, in spite of everyone loving the Melbourne Cup, gambling on racing is in serious decline.
Some of the reasons for this decline is a greater choice of methods of gambling. For example, more casinos have opened, more pokie machines are available and easier access to internet gambling have all contributed to the decline.
Sports betting on things such as football, cricket and other non-racing sports account for around 60% of all wagering. As opportunities for ever more sophisicated gambling increases, so it is likely that people will continue to move away from race course betting.
Betfair found that of its new customers last year, 63% are in the 18-35 age group and that their first bet was made on a sport other than racing. Racing may have lost one or two generations of punters.
James Packer who owns 50% of Betfair has purchased 18% of Channel 10, in the expectation that digital technology will lead to online gambling. If the Australian Government were to revoke the interactive gambling laws in the future, then owning stakes in Betfair and Channel 10 will be a great position to be in.
As well as sports betting online, the opportunities for all kinds of gambling and gaming over the internet are limitless.