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Why ASX gambling shares like PointsBet (ASX:PBH) have surged in 2020

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ASX gambling shares have been strong outperformers this year. While the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fallen 7.4% lower, the value of companies like Pointsbet Holdings Ltd (ASX: PBH) has rocketed higher.

Now, new data from the Federal Government’s Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has confirmed what’s driving top ASX gambling shares higher this year.

What does the latest research say?

It’s not surprising that demand for gambling has surged given recent financial results for ASX gambling shares. However, the latest research shows just how much of a shift has been happening in gambling behaviour in 2020.

The AIFS surveyed more than 2,000 Australians who gambled during June and July 2020 as well as interviewing exports across gambling research, regulation, policy and treatment.

Almost 1 in 3 survey participants signed up for a new online betting account during the coronavirus pandemic while 1 in 20 started gambling online.

Participants gambled more often during COVID-19 with the proportion of those gambling 4 or more times a week climbing from 23% to 32%.

Horse racing, sports betting, greyhound racing and lotto were the main gambling products used before and during COVID-19. Young men were the most likely to sign up for new accounts and increase frequency and size of gambling spend.

What do the findings mean for ASX gambling shares?

It’s clear that gambling demand has been surging which has boosted demand for ASX gambling shares. For instance, the Pointsbet share price has rocketed 160.8% higher since the start of the year.

It’s far from the only wagering group to see its value on the rise. The Betmakers Technology Group Ltd (ASX: BET) share price was smashed in the March bear market but is now up 217.9% higher in 2020.

Foolish takeaway

ASX gambling shares have been rocketing higher this year and the latest research from the AIFS confirms the strong demand trends pushing those valuations higher.

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Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Pointsbet Holdings Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Pointsbet Holdings Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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