Greyhound racing’s live baiting scandal has only a marginal effect on betting
Evidence of severe animal abuse by significant numbers of Australia's greyhound trainers has had only “a marginal effect on betting” according to newly consumer gambling data from Roy Morgan Research.
Despite conclusive evidence of live baiting - the practice of using small live animals to promote aggression in secret greyhound training sessions - and subsequent evidence of tens of thousands of greyhounds being euthanised, Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research stated “last year’s live baiting scandal, revealed on Four Corners in February last year, had only a marginal effect on betting incidence.”
The Roy Morgan research shows that 600,000 Australian adults bet on at least one greyhound race during the year, with the average dog bettor around eight years younger than the average horse race punter.
Newly consumer gambling data from Roy Morgan Research shows that 3.3 million Australian adults (18%) gambled on at least one horse race (excluding harness trots) in the past year, and their average age is almost 49 - slightly older than the national mean. But among the 3.2% who bet on greyhounds, the average age is not quite 41 - younger than the average Facebook user.
Much of the lower age average is driven by the overwhelmingly popularity of greyhound racing among 25 to 34 year-olds (Generation Y). This group is 80% more likely than average to bet on dog races during the year, and make up the largest bloc of greyhound bettors (34.2%) despite being less than a fifth of the population.
As shown in the table below, the age profile of greyhound bettors is a virtual mirror of horse racing: only around one in four greyhound gamblers is aged 50 plus, compared with almost half of horse racing bettors - but the reverse is true for those aged 18 to 34. Those in the middle, aged 35-49, make up around 30% of each bettor group.
Age profiles of Greyhound vs Horse Racing bettors
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015, samples n = 367 and 2641 Australians 18+ who bet on greyhound racing or horse racing respectively in the last 12 months.
Further explaining the findings, Smith commented “betting on horse-racing has declined in popularity over the past decade: In 2005, 24% of people bet on at least one horse race; in 2015, around 18% of us did.
“Not only has its popularity been consistent over the past decade, but Aussies aged 18-34 now make up only nearly half of greyhound bettors, compared with only a quarter of horse-racing bettors.
"But it’s not just this generational difference that suggests greyhound racing is trendy: by far the most likely Values Segment to bet on greyhounds (at rates well over double the norm) are those defined as ‘Look at Me’: a niche group of social butterflies who participate in cool or outrageous activities with the in-crowd of their peers, who follow trends and want to clearly distinguish themselves from previous generations.
“And, as with the overall age trend, this group is among the least likely to be interested in placing a bet on horses.”
Main image used for illustrative purposes only. Courtesy Betfair.
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