COVID-19 lockdown sees gambling spending spike 60%

author-avatar By on June 12, 2020
COVID-19 lockdown sees gambling spending spike 60%

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Data has revealed a worrying spike in gambling as a result of the pandemic lockdown.

NAB economic insights found spending in gambling was up 62.7% compared to the same time last year, and up 50.7% since the start of the year.

The big four bank said it had seen spending increase in recent months but this improvement had levelled out in the last four weeks.

"The overall trend in consumption spending remains positive, but NAB’s latest data read suggests it is levelling off and slowing," NAB said.

"Spending over the week ending June 6 was just 0.2% higher in 4-week moving average terms (1.6% in the previous week).

"Spending is however now down just 4.1% over the same time last year and 2.8% since the start of the year (-7.1% and -4.5% respectively in the week to May 23)."

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Other sectors which showed large growth included internet publishing and broadcasting, up 43.2%, as people confined to their homes looked to entertain themselves via streaming services.

Consumers also took the lockdown as an opportunity to give their homes a spruce, with expenditure in building and cleaning services up 30.4%.

While there was positive growth in many areas, 13 of the 45 sectors tracked by NAB saw falls of more than 50%. 

With movie theatres shut down across the country, spending became almost non-existent, down 96.6%. 

Transport similarly suffered, with rail spending down 82.7% and air and space transport down 81.9%. 

As many consumers shifted to working from home, admin services also saw an 85.3% drop in spending. 

The hospitality and food service industry, one of the worst affected sectors by the pandemic shutdown, has started to see an improvement in spending, although it is still well below pre-coronavirus levels.

Spending in cafes and restaurants is down 17.9% since the start of the year, compared to a 36% decrease two weeks ago. 

The Northern Territory and Victoria led the spending growth over the previous week, up 1.0% and 0.6% respectively, with spending in other states or territories and states either flat or falling. 

Only five sectors are enjoying higher spending levels since the start of 2020, led by professional, scientific and technical services (46.7%) and Construction (33.3%).

Both sectors are also reporting respectable levels of growth relative to the same time last year at 12.9% and 12.5% respectively.

Retail spending is also up around 12%.

A deeper look into retail showed inflows are growing in more industry groups (8) than falling (5).

Inflows into department stores were very strong at 52.5%.

Supermarkets & Grocery Stores (-25.0%) are now experiencing the heaviest falls.


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Alex joined Savings.com.au in 2019. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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