Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Gambling motivated crime

Media Release

25 June 2003

Gambling is the second most frequently identified motivation of convicted serious fraud offenders - greed is the most frequent. The most common offence committed to obtain funds to gamble with is 'obtaining finance or credit by deception' and 'cheque fraud'.

These are the major findings from a joint Australian Institute of Criminology and PricewaterhouseCoopers paper issued today. The paper studied the primary motivations of 183 convicted serious fraud offenders.

"Australians currently spend $13,839 million per year on gambling, or $901 per adult per year. In recent years, the social costs associated with gambling, including the relationship between problem gambling and crime, have received growing attention. This paper presents data supporting the relationship between problem gambling and financial crime and assesses the most effective judicial response to the problem", said Dr Adam Graycar, AIC Director.

The paper also found:

  • The majority of gambling-motivated fraudsters were employed at the time of the commission of their offences, and nearly half of the offences were committed against employers.
  • Male offenders tended to be younger than females (average age of 37 years, compared to 46 years for females).
  • The average loss was $218,746 and the maximum loss recorded was $805,312.
  • Three-quarters (76 per cent) of persons convicted of fraud motivated by gambling were given full-time custodial sentences.