Gaming association the Australian Wagering Council (AWC) has welcomed the results of a survey examining gambling participation in the state of Victoria, which shows that there has only been a small increase in the percentage of Victorians placing bets between 2008 and 2014.

The AWC, which represents betting operators Betfair, bet365, Sportsbet, the William Hill Group and Unibet, said that the report destroys the notion that sports betting had exploded in popularity over the six-year period – a claim which critics have used to warn of a major increase in problem gambling in the country.

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