WA's love of traditional punting has grown with a record $820 million spent on Lotto last financial year, defying a barrage of advertising for online betting by "men in stylish suits".
It means WA keeps its record as having the most Lotto sales per capita on Earth despite the world's biggest online book- maker Bet 365 arriving in 2012-13.
For the second successive year, Lotterywest posted record annual sales as demand rose 7.6 per cent, or $58 million, to smash through the $800 million mark for the first time. Strong population growth played a part but average consumption increased, rising $2 last financial year to $424 for every WA adult.
The record may never be broken, with Lotterywest chief executive Jan Stewart predicting WA's deregulation of trading hours and increased online shopping would cut into disposable household incomes.
In the agency's annual report, tabled in Parliament this week, Ms Stewart said there was evidence interactive gambling and increasingly popular sports betting was harming Lotto, particularly among younger punters.
But record jackpots ensured a bumper 2012-13 by boosting Powerball sales 54 per cent and OZ Lotto sales 30.5 per cent to offset the decline in Lotterywest's six other products.
"It was the size and frequency of jackpots, which you can't duplicate because jackpots are the luck of the draw," Ms Stewart said yesterday.
In all 70 West Australians shared in division one prizes worth $102.5 million.
The figures came as Premier Colin Barnett, who in February criticised "men in slick suits" enticing TV viewers to bet continually, admitted it was a "contradiction" for government agency TAB to target West Australians with a similar message.
A new advertising campaign featuring Belmont Park racecourse, Rottnest, Kings Park and Patersons Stadium boasts that the TAB has "upped the game" by bringing racing and sports betting together through its TABtouch smartphone application.
Mr Barnett told 6PR that despite his Government "keeping a pretty strict rein on gambling", the TAB had to compete against private and online betting.
He acknowledged the contradiction was one of those "grey areas" of government.
_Mr Barnett said the TAB would not be one of the Government assets sold to win back WA's AAA credit rating because it funded the racing industry, a big employer. _
Anglicare chief executive Ian Carter said there were concerns if the TAB pushed hard into internet betting. "It needs to be commercially viable but socially responsible," he said.WA Council of Social Service chief executive Irina Cattalini said if the government entity boosted its online betting, it needed to make support for problem gamblers highly visible.