Investigating the Catchment of a Remote Area Gambling Venue: A Case- Study of the Alice Springs Casino, Northern Territory

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1 Investigating the Catchment of a Remote Area Gambling Venue: A Case- Study of the Alice Springs Casino, Northern Territory Dr Bruce Doran (ANU) & Dr Martin Young (SCU) 1

2 Australia in thrall of gambling mania It is the world record of which Australia is least proud: More than 80% of its adult population gambles, the highest rate on the planet. From the Melbourne Cup - the horse race that stops the nation - to 'pokie' machines in the pubs, clubs and branches of the RSLs, the TAB, and in bars - it is everywhere. As one reformed gambler put it to me, Australians would even place a bet on two flies climbing up a wall. For many, the jingles and electronic clatter of the "pokies" have become just as quintessentially Australian sounds as the call of a kookaburra (Nick Bryant, BBC).

3 Number of EGMs in Australia by Jurisdiction (June 2007) NT - 1,920 WA - 1,750 TAS - 3,665 ACT - 5,179 SA 13,560 NSW 98,872 Australia 199,999 VIC 29,779 QLD 45,274 Includes Casinos Source: Australian Gambling Statistics 25 th Edition Note: Figure created by David Lamb, SSPR, Charles Darwin University

4 Real Per Capita EGM Expenditure Source: Australian Gambling Statistics 25 th Edition Note: Excludes Casinos Figure created by David Lamb, SSPR, Charles Darwin University.

5 EGM Taxation Revenue by Jurisdiction (real dollars) Source: ABS Australian Taxation Revenue, Note: Figure created by David Lamb, SSPR, Charles Darwin University

6 EGM Revenue as a Proportion of Total Revenue Source: ABS Australian Taxation Revenue, Note: Figure created by David Lamb, SSPR, Charles Darwin University

7 Expenditure by Problem Gamblers In the NT 1.1% of the population defined as problem gamblers by the SOGS screen were responsible for an estimated 31.3% of total gambling expenditure. This equates to an estimated average annual selfreported loss of $30,913, which, given the likelihood of under-reporting, should be interpreted as a probable underestimate of the true gambling losses for this group.

8 Vulnerability is spatially patterned There exists a negative association between socioeconomic status (SES) and the distribution of EGMs (e.g. Marshall, 1999; Marshall & Baker, 2001 a,b; South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, 2005). Marshall & Baker (2002). Quadratic Regression of EGMs per 1000 Persons and Index of Economic Resources, Sydney LGAs, 1998

9 In 1999, the Productivity Commission conducted an influential national study of Australia s Gambling Industries. Amongst other things, the Productivity Commission identified ready access to gambling venues as a major influence on problem gambling:..how gambling opportunities are arranged spatially is critical to accessibility because it determines proximity to gambling opportunities. Likely to have a higher level of gambling accessibility despite having fewer venues

10 EGM venue catchment analysis The KMPG (2000) gold standard of a 2.5km radius around a venue: Survey respondents were asked to estimate how far they travelled to the last EGM venue that they used. These subjective distances were then averaged.

11 In general, two types of catchments were found: Extensive: people travelling between 2-14 kms to access clubs

12 Confined: people travelling between <1-4 kms to access clubs Key finding: catchment sizes vary considerably. Clubs with extensive catchments were near large areas of community congregation Doran et al., (2007)

13 Define study region:

14 Geocode destinations: EGM venues Weighted by EGM numbers 14

15 Add local geography (mesh blocks) 15

16 Extract Mesh Block centroids for origins (weighted by total dwellings)

17 Origindestination pairs for one (selected) destination The gravity model then estimates the probability of an origin interacting with available destinations

18 18

19 Northern Darwin 19

20 What are the socio-spatial characteristics of EGM venues in remote areas? 20

21

22 GNAF Survey for Alice Springs Geocode identifier 22

23 Some areas commercial or industrial Some areas not delivered by Aust Post 23

24 Delivered by hand to residences not serviced by Australia Post 24

25 25

26 To measure gambling venue catchments that appeared likely to attract remote residents (e.g. Alice Springs casino) we trialled cognitive mapping 26

27 Reg Golledge is a pivotal figure in spatial behaviour and GIS applications.. Golledge, R. and Stimson, B Spatial Behavior: a geographic perspective Reginald Golledge s homepage:

28 Cognitive maps avoidance behaviour: 28

29 Kitchen (1996) emphasises how much cognitive mapping data consists of spatial elements such as points, lines and polygons. This makes it possible to analyse such data with traditional spatial statistics and to visualise them using cartographic and GIS-based techniques. 29

30 Cognitive mapping of Alice Springs casino catchment GA 250K topo series Hillshade (ANUDEM) Localities (Google Earth) 30

31 9 31

32 32

33 Taylor (2002) 33

34 34

35 Core catchment areas. 35

36 Taylor (2009) 36

37 Future Avenues Fine (town) scale dynamics a dual catchment? Regulatory implications of a catchment that spans several states (yet the venue is the same size as a large club in Canberra) The AS casino has applied for more EGMs what impacts will that have? Could this approach be applied to other social issues? Other dimensions of service delivery? Spatial patterns of alcohol supply and demand in remote situations? Patterns of crime/fear of crime and policing in the NT? Growth towns? 37

38 Relevant/cited Papers Doran B, McMillen J, and Marshall, D. (2007) A GIS-based investigation of gaming venue catchments. Transactions in GIS, 11(4): Taylor, J. (2009) Social engineering and Indigenous settlement: testing the demographic implications of policy prescriptions in remote Australia Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2009/1 Taylor, J The spatial context of Indigenous service delivery CAEPR Working Paper No. 16, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, The Australian National University, Canberra. Young, M., Lamb, D. and Doran B. (2011). Gambling, resources, and racial economy: An analysis of EGM expenditure patterns in three remote Australian towns. Geographical Research, Volume 49 (1):

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