World's worst gamblers: Australia's destructive love affair with sports betting continues to grow

The latest statistics, published this month, show that as a nation we bet $209 billion in 2016/17, an increase of 0.7 per cent over the previous year. Singapore is a distant second.

The data collected for the past 34 years and published annually by the Queensland Government Statistician's Office is considered the most comprehensive snapshot of gambling in Australia

It shows that, when averaged out across the entire adult population, Australians bet almost $11,000 per person, making us far and away the biggest betting nation on the planet.

"We see people who would not blink at spending $1,000 a bet," said Dr Kate Fennessy, the clinical lead at St Vincent's Hospital's Gambling Treatment Program in Sydney.

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