Gambling research

Introduction

There are few comprehensive studies of gambling in the Northern Territory. However one project commissioned by the Northern Territory Government in the mid-1990’s was undertaken by Jan McMillen and Samantha Togni: Study of Gambling in the Northern Territory 1996-1997. While much has occurred over the intervening years, this provides an important snapshot of how gambling once was in the Territory.

The Northern Territory Government is a partner in the national research program of Gambling Research Australia (GRA), an initiative of the Ministerial Council on Gambling. The program is undertaking a range of studies identified as national priorities for understanding and addressing problems associated with gambling behaviour. It also has a clearinghouse function for research articles.

The GRA also provides a regular update on research projects being conducted by the various states and territories. These updates can be accessed at the Gambling Research Australia website

The Australian Government commissioned some developmental work for a study of young people and gambling prepared by the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies.

In 2005 the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) completed a study of various gambling harm-minimisation measures for New South Wales, entitled Gambling: Promoting a Culture of Responsibility.

A collaborative submission between Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Licensing NT was successful in obtaining a grant from the Australian Research Council. The university issued a media release on 18 November 2004. The project was examining gambling among Aboriginal people providing a better understanding of its effects and the support that might need to be introduced to lessen any harms. The project was a three year post-graduate program that began in March 2005.

Gambling prevalence in the NT

Charles Darwin University has completed the first assessment of the prevalence of different forms of gambling across the Northern Territory since 1996. The Northern Territory Gambling Prevalence Survey 2005 presents details of the nature and extent of gambling, measures of problem gambling, the distribution and profitability of gaming machines, subjective expenditure and selected community attitudes. The results are derived from a telephone survey of 1873 Territorians in August-September 2005. The study was funded by the Community Benefit Fund.

Economic impact of NT gambling

An economic analysis of the costs and benefits of gambling generally, and gaming machines more particularly, was completed by ACIL Tasman and Charles Darwin University. The Economic Impact of Gambling on the Northern Territory outlines the model used to evaluate the impact of gambling and translate impact into monetary value, it identifies the critical factors included in the model and it draws conclusion of the overall balance of costs and benefits to community welfare. The study was funded by the Community Benefit Fund.

Uptake of responsible gambling code

Gambling providers were surveyed in 2004 to gauge the extent to which practices recommended in the Northern Territory Responsible Code of Practice have been implemented. The code was designed to promote the adoption of best practice in the provision of responsible gambling. The results of the survey showed varying compliance across different gambling sectors and greater uptake of some recommendations and not others. Improvements for the code and its implementation were identified. Full details are available from Voluntary Implementation of the Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling.

Measuring problem gambling

On 1 December 2005, GRA released a report entitled Problem Gambling and Harm: Towards A National Definition. The report is based on a review of literature and expert commentary. It identifies a definition of problem gambling that can be used consistently across the country to enhance discussion and research. It also recommends measurement tools for use in population studies and clinical settings. Copies of the report can be downloaded from the Gambling Research Australia website

Setting personal limits for gambling

On 19 June 2006, GRA released a report entitled Analysis of Gambler Pre-Commitment Behaviour. Based on interviews with gamblers across the country, the report looks at approaches used by people to set limits on their gambling and it explores the factors involved in the success or failure of those strategies. Results show most gamblers, whether problem or otherwise, typically set themselves amounts of money which they attempt to self-regulate during gambling. They also identify what that can lead to gamblers going over their limits and differences between problem gamblers and other gamblers and between gamblers in different gambling venues. Copies of the report can be downloaded from the Gambling Research Australia website

Gambling Harm-Minimisation Measures Post 1999: An Australian Overview with Particular Reference to the Northern Territory

The purpose of the discussion paper is to present an overview of the gambling harm-minimisation measures that are implemented across Australia with a view towards identifying those demonstrably effective measures that may be appropriate to the NT context. The paper is separated into six key areas: (1) implications of the Productivity Commission’s 1999 Report, (2) public health and responsible gambling (3) the gambling landscape in Australia (4) codes of practice in operation (5) harm-minimisation measures and (6) a discussion of findings and key areas for further research.

Expenditure on Electronic Gaming Machines in the Northern Territory: A Venues-Based Analysis

This report presents a supply-side analysis of electronic gambling machine (EGM) venues in the NT. The objective is to explore the characteristics of particular venues in the NT. This was achieved through a series of analyses of the Northern Territory Government EGM Player Loss Database over the past decade. The report combines the key findings from the range of supply-side analyses of venues conducted by the CDU research team during 2008 in a single document. It presents some descriptive analysis of EGM trends by venue type, explores the partial and temporal distribution of expenditure over a five year period (for which monthly data was available) and constructs separate typologies for clubs and hotels that may be used to aid regulatory decision making. Its purpose is to present a plain-language description of each analysis with their key implications for research and harm-minimisation.

Northern Territory 2005 Gambling Prevalence Survey: An Extended Analysis

This report presents an extended analysis of the gambling prevalence dataset collected as part of the NT Gambling Prevalence Survey 2005.

Workshop Report: Regulated Gambling and Problem Gambling Among Aborigines from remote NT communities: A Yolngu case study

This report documents, for the first time, the perspectives on gambling held by people from remote Northern Territory communities who still live customary lifestyles and speak Australian languages. Through a series of workshops with key individuals in Yolngu Matha, the report offers a genuine Yolngu perspective on gambling practices, the meaning of problem gambling and potential intervention strategies. It is specifically concerned with Yolngu perceptions of gambling, the histories of, and relationship between card-games and regulated forms of gambling, for example, poker machines. It identifies the issues, both positive and negative, with these forms of gambling as well as ways in which government and non-government organisations can engage with communities to manage the effects of gambling.

Gambling Harm in the Northern Territory - An Atlas of Venue Catchments May 2014

This atlas presents a series of maps that describe a number of pokie venues in the NT, the spatial distribution of their clientele, and their associated level of problem gambling. This report was prepared for the Community Benefit Committee.


Northern Territory 2018 Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey

This report presents findings from the Northern Territory 2018 Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey.

The aim of the survey is to inform government on the last patterns of gambling participation, problem gambling prevalence, gambling harm and community attitudes to gambling policy and regulation in the Northern Territory and to compare with findings from the 2015 survey.

Get a copy of the Northern Territory 2018 Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey PDF (4.5 MB).

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade 
Phone: 08 8935 7643
itt.licensingnt@nt.gov.au


Northern Territory Gambling Qualitative Study

Menzies School of Health Research has completed an Exploratory Study of Peoples Gambling Behaviours, Harm and Help-Seeking for Gambling Issues in the Northern Territory.

This report represent findings from a follow up qualitative study to the Northern Territory 2018 Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey.

The Study explored people’s gambling behaviour, associated harms, help seeking for gambling issues and their views about current legislation and gambling in the Northern Territory.

Get a copy of the Northern Territory Gambling Qualitative Study PDF (1.1 MB).

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade 
Phone: 08 8935 7643
itt.licensingnt@nt.gov.au


Northern Territory 2015 Gambling Prevalence and Wellbeing Survey

Preface

This report presents the first release of findings from the second population level gambling prevalence survey done in the Northern Territory (NT), some 10 years after the first. The information contained in this report will be useful to a range of stakeholders including government, policy-makers, counselling services, researchers, the community and industry. The survey methodology and questions included in the 2015 survey differ slightly to that used in 2005 survey, due to refinements in how gambling surveys are carried out, a move towards public health approaches to reducing gambling-related harm, and the declining number of households with a working landline telephone. However, the report does include comparison between the 2005 and 2015 surveys, where data item definitions are the same or similar. The inclusion of a mobile sample in this survey has enabled improved coverage across different demographic groups in the NT, and improvements to population weighting in the 2015 survey. Because of the improved sampling and weighting procedures used for this report, estimates for problem gambling will be more accurate for the Northern Territory, and problem gambling risk estimates (with margins of error) can now be produced separately for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

Executive Summary PDF (496.5 KB)

Cover and Table of Contents PDF (753.5 KB)

Chap 1 PDF (98.1 KB)

Chap 2 PDF (337.9 KB)

Chap 3 PDF (3.0 MB)

Chap 4 PDF (463.3 KB)

Chap 5 PDF (421.7 KB)

Chap 6 PDF (1.3 MB)

Chap 7 PDF (1.1 MB)

Chap 8 PDF (1.4 MB)

Chap 9 PDF (2.9 MB)

Chap 10 PDF (1015.6 KB)

Chap 11 PDF (136.8 KB)

Appendix 1 to 3 PDF (685.3 KB)

Complete Report

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Gambling Harm in the Northern Territory - An Atlas of Venue Catchments May 2014

Abstract

This report was prepared for the Community Benefit Committee, Department of Business, Northern Territory Government in May 2014. Authored by Dr Martin Young, Dr Bruce Doran and Francis Markham. 

The Productivity Commission (1999) brought the issue of problem gambling to national attention with its release of the first comprehensive report on Australia’s gambling industries.

The commission estimated problem gamblers, those people who have trouble controlling their gambling, comprise 2.1% of the adult population. More recently, the commission (2010) estimated the social costs of problem gambling, including suicide, depression, relationship breakdown, lowered work productivity, job loss, bankruptcy and crime, to be over $4.7 billion per year.

This atlas presents a series of maps that describe a number of pokie venues in the NT, the spatial distribution of their clientele, and their associated level of problem gambling. The aim of the atlas is to provide an explicitly visual document that communicates information in an easy-to-interpret format.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Workshop Report: Regulated Gambling and Problem Gambling Among Aborigines

From remote Northern Territory communities - a Yolgnu case study

Abstract

This 2009 report is one of a series produced by Charles Darwin University (CDU) on the phenomenon of gambling in the Northern Territory of Australia. Since 2005, the School for Social and Policy Research and it partners have pursued a structured and ongoing research agenda into commercial gambling which has encompassed gambling prevalence, gambling by the Indigenous population, problem gambling, the geography of gambling accessibility, and mechanisms for harm-minimisation. The current report is the latest addition to the body of work produced on the complex role of gambling within the Indigenous population.

This report documents, for the first time, the perspectives on gambling held by people from remote Northern Territory communities who still live customary lifestyles. Through a series of workshops with key individuals in Yolgnu Matha, the report offers a genuine Yolgnu perspective on gambling practices, the meaning of problem gambling, and potential intervention strategies. It is specifically concerned with Yolgnu perceptions of gambling, the histories of, and relationships between, card-games and regulated forms of gambling. It identifies the issues, both positive and negative, with these forms of gambling as well as ways in which government and non-government organisations can engage with communities to manage the effects of gambling.

Fourteen Yolgnu consultants contributed to the project. 

The representation of the findings was further developed through discussions and feedback during a symposium on gambling research at CDU, and will be further developed following feedback from the Community Benefit Fund.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Northern Territory 2005 Gambling Prevalence Survey: An Extended Analysis

An extended analysis

Abstract

This report presents the results of the first prevalence survey of gambling and problem gambling in the NT, conducted during August and September of 2005. Its purpose is to inform policy makers, industry, and the community at large about the nature and impacts of gambling in the NT. As such it is a baseline study which seeks not only to describe current patterns, but also to act as the cornerstone on which a future gambling research agenda may be constructed. The timing of the report is particularly relevant as it charts the NT gambling landscape exactly 10 years after the first poker machines were introduced into hotels and clubs.

This report is specifically concerned with the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling in the NT. It focuses explicitly on the results of the prevalence survey along with a detailed socio-spatial analysis of trends in poker machine gambling over the past decade.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Expenditure on Electronic Gaming Machines in the Northern Territory

A venues-based analysis

Abstract

This 2008 report presents a supply-side analysis of electronic gaming machine (EGM) venues in the NT. It is the primary output of Project C6 'Typology of Gaming Machine Venues in the NT'.

The objective of this project is to explore the characteristics of particular venues in the NT. This was achieved through a series of analyses of the Northern Territory Department of Justice EGM Player Loss Database over the past decade.

The report combines the key findings from the range of supply side analyses of venues conducted by the Charles Darwin University research team during 2008 in a single document. It presents some descriptive analysis of EGM trends by venue type, explores the spatial and temporal distribution of expenditure over a five year period (for which monthly data was available), and constructs separate typologies for clubs and hotels that may be used to aid regulatory decision making (see Young et al. 2006, Gambling Practice and Policy in the Northern Territory: A Research Programme).

Its purpose is to present a plain-language description of each analysis with their key implications for research and harm-minimisation.

The report details:

  • electronic gaming machine player loss in the Northern Territory (1996/97 to 2006/07)
  • spatial analysis of EGM expenditure ‘hotspots’
  • a typological analysis of community venues.

The project was funded entirely by the Community Benefit Fund of the Northern Territory Department of Justice.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Gambling Harm-Minimisation Measures Post 1999

An Australian overview with particular reference to the Northern Territory 

Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to present an overview of the gambling harm-minimisation measures that are implemented across Australia with a view towards identifying those demonstrably effective measures that may be appropriate to the Northern Territory (NT) context.

The paper is separated into six key areas:

  • implications of the Productivity Commission’s 1999 Report
  • public health and responsible gambling
  • the gambling landscape in Australia
  • codes of practice in operation
  • harm-minimisation measures
  • a discussion of findings and key areas for further research.

While there were several recommended practices that were not widely supported across any of the different sectors, there was variation between the sectors in the practices that were adopted.

Over the last three decades the liberalisation of gambling has facilitated the emergence of a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2005-06 the total gambling turnover (the amount gambled) in Australia was over $148 billion. However, this development has not been accompanied by adequate or evaluated measures for consumer protection.

In 1999 the Productivity Commission’s report into Australia’s gambling industries represented the first comprehensive national study into the economic and social impacts of the gambling industry in Australia. This report highlighted an alarming level of problem gambling and other indirect social and economic costs. The Commission also reported a regulatory environment that was disjointed and inconsistent between jurisdictions. It identifies a need for:

  • policy which was open and developed through community and industry consultation
  • a separation between industry and government to avoid conflict of objectives and interests.

Most governments have initiated new responsible gambling practices since 1999. Responsible gambling and harm-minimisation measures have been introduced across all forms of gambling to help address the individual and social impacts of problem gambling.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Voluntary Implementation of the NT Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling

Abstract

The Northern Territory Responsible Gambling Code of Practice was launched in April 2003.

It was designed to promote the adoption of best practice in the provision of responsible gambling and represents the first local attempt to provide a systematic approach to the issue. A series of training initiatives were subsequently provided for many of the different gambling sectors to aid implementation.

A review was undertaken between 30 September 2004 and 30 November 2004 to assess the extent to which practices recommended in the code had been implemented by gambling providers.

The review collected information via a questionnaire that was distributed to 131 gambling outlets and from site visits to a random sample of outlets that returned completed questionnaires. The outlets included casinos, clubs, hotel / tavern, lottery outlets, TAB / oncourse, internet sports bookmakers and bookmakers.

The average rate of voluntary compliance was estimated to be 77% for the industry as a whole. But compliance varied across different sectors of the gambling industry and markedly from one provider to another in any particular sector. The compliance across different sectors was found to be higher for the sectors under more stringent regulation for gambling.

While there were several recommended practices that were not widely supported across any of the different sectors, there was variation between the sectors in the practices that were adopted.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


The Economic Impact of Gambling on the Northern Territory

Abstract

The NT Community Benefit Fund Committee commissioned a consortium led by Charles Darwin University (CDU) to undertake a series of research projects into the impacts of gambling in the Northern Territory, with particular reference to the impacts of electronic gaming machines on the Territory.  

As part of this research program, CDU engaged ACIL Tasman to undertake an assessment of the nature and the extent of the economic impacts. 

This report outlines the results that were obtained in the course of this work.

In 2004-05 punters staked $4.0 billion on commercial gambling services that were produced in the Northern Territory. Just over 93% of the total was returned to successful punters in the form of winnings. The balance - termed the player expenditure - was used to meet the costs of supplying these services, including the profits earned by the producers. In 2004-05 the player expenditure in the Territory amounted to $272.4 million, which represented a slight decrease in real terms over the previous year.

ACIL Tasman estimated that the annual turnover on the gambling industries in the Territory approached $0.5 billion in 2003-04 and in 2004-05. This included the turnover from non-gambling sources - such as the sale of meals, beverages and entertainment - but excluded the turnover of those organisations in the relevant industries which did not operate gambling facilities. 

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Northern Territory Gambling Prevalence Survey 2005

Abstract

This report presents the results of the first prevalence survey of gambling and problem gambling in the NT, conducted during August and September of 2005. Its purpose is to inform policy makers, industry, and the community at large about the nature and impacts of gambling in the NT. As such it is a baseline study which seeks not only to describe current patterns, but also to act as the cornerstone on which a future gambling research agenda may be constructed. The timing of the report is particularly relevant as it charts the NT gambling landscape exactly 10 years after the first poker machines were introduced into hotels and clubs.

This report is specifically concerned with the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling in the NT. It focuses explicitly on the results of the prevalence survey along with a detailed socio-spatial analysis of trends in poker machine gambling over the past decade.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au


Charles Darwin University media release

Research grants explore Indigenous gambling and cultural change

18 November 2004, Charles Darwin University

Two Research Fellows from Charles Darwin University have been awarded research grants totalling more than $300,000 through the prestigious Australian Research Council to investigate the impacts of gambling and cultural change on Indigenous communities.

Human Geographer, Dr Martin Young together with the Northern Territory Department of Treasury will lead a three-year $87,444 research project into the impacts of commercial gambling on Indigenous communities in North Australia.

“The research will advance our understanding of the implications for Indigenous people of our enthusiastic embrace of gambling as a national institution,” Dr Young explained.

“While there is considerable evidence from around the country and overseas to allow good practices to be developed for the population generally, there is virtually nothing for Indigenous people living in the variety of settings that exist in the Northern Territory.

“Exploring the different ways different communities have come to terms with gambling will enable us to develop more culturally appropriate frameworks for assessing the social impacts of commercial gambling, and to develop appropriate policy response. The grant also opens up further research opportunities within the university by offering an Australian Postdoctoral fellowship for researchers with less than three years experience.”

Anthropologist, Dr Ute Eickelkamp, has been awarded a three-year $222,000 postdoctoral scholarship to examine the relationship between Indigenous children’s play techniques and cultural transformation.

“Based in a remote Indigenous community in Australia’s Western Desert, this ethnographic project will explore how difficult cultural transformation of a society and its self-image is manifested in children’s symbolic play,” Dr Eickelkamp said.

“Indigenous children’s social imagination has not been investigated previously, and the proposed research within a framework of psychoanalytic anthropology and phenomenology will advance the understanding of how childhood and cultural transformation intersect. The findings of this study will support the development of positive strategies for Aboriginal equality.”

Dr Young and Dr Eickelkamp joined Charles Darwin University’s Institute of Advanced Studies in early 2004 as part of the core research team for the newly developed School for Social and Policy Research. The School’s Director, Associate Professor Tess Lea, applauds the two researchers.

“It is fantastic that their efforts have paid off. Receiving an ARC grant is like being nationally recognised for all their hard work,” Dr Lea remarked. “Both researchers have identified significant research gaps and suggested original programs of work to meet those gaps. They are brilliant colleagues and the School is proud to be associated with their scholarship.”


Study of Gambling in the Northern Territory 1996-1997

Abstract

The Northern Territory Government commissioned work to be done in response to recommendations of the report of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly Select Committee on Effects of Poker Machines in Community Venues. That report was tabled in Parliament in February 1995.

A major recommendation was to conduct a baseline study into the extent and effects of gambling in the Northern Territory. That work was subsequently undertaken by the Australian Institute of Gambling Research and conducted from January 1996 to December 1997. The investigators were Professor Jan McMillen and Ms Samantha Togni.

A report was produced and presented to government in 2000. Attached is the baseline account of gambling and related impacts that were identified by that research.

The passage of time means the material is dated. However the information is still important for putting more contemporary studies in context and to give some continuity to appreciating gambling and its effects in the Northern Territory. The report is now being made publicly available as information for interested persons and other researchers.

It is significant that there was a delay between the data collection and the final report received by government, as intervening events would also date interpretation of the results and the design of appropriate responses. There have been further changes since then too - transfer of ownership of gaming machines from government to private interests, election of a new Territory government, population variations and tourism fluctuations in the wake of local and global factors, technological advances, Commonwealth Government interventions on gambling and improved research methodologies for assessing gambling patterns and issues.

In light of these concerns and qualifications, the results are offered without official analysis or response. Their value lies in providing insight into gambling as it occurred in the mid-1990s.

Contact

For further information about this report or to access a hard copy:

Licensing NT
Department of Attorney-General and Justice
Phone: (08) 8935 7643
Email: AGD.LicensingNT@nt.gov.au