The SA Centre for Economic Studies electronic gaming machine (EGM) database has been updated to include data for the recent 2013/14 financial year. The database provides regional information on gaming machine activity in hotels and clubs, including the number of machines and venues, gambling expenditure and taxation revenue. The database is compiled from data sourced from Consumer and Business Services and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The database can be downloaded from SACES’s gambling portal website.
The latest data show that gaming machine activity in hotels and clubs remained flat in 2013/14 with total net EGM gambling revenue for South Australia rising by only 0.1 per cent to $731 million, while total taxation revenue rose by 0.8 per cent to $288 million.
In terms of regional dimensions, most regions in our database actually showed a decline in EGM activity in 2013/14. There were particular large relative (i.e. percentage) falls in EGM gambling revenue for the regions comprising the following local government areas: ‘Goyder and Northern Areas’ (down 24 per cent) and ‘Roxby Downs, Coober Pedy and Flinders Ranges’ (down 16 per cent). There was also a relatively large fall in gambling expenditure for ‘Unincorporated Far North and Unincorporated West Coast’ (down 19 per cent). On the other hand, there were relatively large increases in EGM gambling expenditure for ‘Wakefield’ (up 12 per cent), ‘Murray Bridge, Karoonda East Murray and Southern Mallee’ (7.1 per cent), ‘Adelaide Hills’ (up 6.7 per cent) and ‘Loxton Waikerie’ (up 6.0 per cent).
While overall EGM activity was stable in 2013/14 there has been a sustained decline in expenditure activity over the past 7 years. Total net EGM gambling revenue in nominal terms in 2013/14 was down 7.8 per cent compared to its peak in 2006/07. The decline in real terms has been much more significant. Real net gambling revenue and real tax paid in 2013/14 were both down 24 per cent relative to their peak in 2006/07.
The lack of growth in EGM gambling activity would reflect a number of factors, including but not limited to:
- The maturation of the EGM industry in terms of availability of venues and the nature of the available gambling product (EGM type);
- Reduction in problem gambling associated with the maturation of the gambling industry;
- Introduction of smoking bans in enclosed public spaces from 1 November 2007;
- Impact of the cap on the number of gaming machines permitted including gradual removal of excess machines over time;
- Ongoing subdued economic conditions over recent years; and
- Shifts in consumer preferences to other forms of entertainment and gambling.