19 May

New Study Calling all Live and Online Pokies Players in Melbourne’s West

Gambling is big business in Australia. Past studies have shown the Oceania region is home to more gambling enthusiasts than any other continent on the planet. Now, with the popularity of online pokies becoming more and more prevalent around the world, the Australian Gambling Research Center (AGRC) is calling upon all players of live and online pokies in Melbourne’s West to help out with a new study.

Online Pokies Study - West melbourne aerial photography by WalkingMelbourne

AGRC Research Fellow Angela Rintoul, who’s been heavily involved in gambling related research for many years now, is asking residents of six suburbs in Melbourne’s West to participate in a brief survey. Whether you play live pokies, online pokies or do not gamble at all, your opinion is highly regarded.

The six suburbs from which AGRC is hoping to garner participants in the survey include Albion, Ardeer, Braybrook, Sunshine, Sunshine North and Sunshine West. According to Ms. Rintoul, over the last financial year, residents of those six suburbs have experienced an annual average loss of $1,358 per adult on pokies, based on a total population of 40,619.

However, those figures are calculated based solely on expenditures on pokies at local pubs, clubs, hotels and casinos. Calculating online pokies spend is virtually impossible because of the offshore nature, and lack of revenue reporting, from interactive gaming operators. Therefore, the inclusion of data from online pokies players is imperative to generating accurate results for the study.

“There are a little cluster of suburbs we have noticed, with previous modelling, which have a high expenditure on gaming machines,” said Ms. Rintoul. “We’re particularly interested in speaking to gamblers and the families of gamblers, including partners and children of gamblers, from these areas.”

How to Participate in the Online Pokies Study

All residents aged 15 and over from the six suburbs listed above are encouraged to take part in the quick survey. All who participate in the study before May 31, 2015 are eligible to win one of ten $100 supermarket vouchers, to be awarded by random draw.

Eligible residents can join in the live / online pokies study in one of the following ways:

Participants can also call the number or send an email to the address above to request the survey be delivered by post.

Live & Online Pokies Players in Melbourne’s East

Pokies enthusiasts in Melbourne’s East won’t be left out of the research pool. Ms. Rintoul said that residents of six additional suburbs in that region, including Blackburn and Box Hill, will be asked to participate in the same survey around August of this year.

According to data collected over the last fiscal year, Melbourne’s East residents in the six eligible suburbs lost an annual average of $400, out of a total population of 46,492.

Compared to the six selected suburbs in Melbourne’s West, there’s a drastic difference of nearly $1,000 annually per adult lost on the pokies. Researchers with AGRC are hoping to distinguish key differences between the eastern and western suburban areas, the way pokies players partake in the pastime, and the subsequent impact of those activities.

It will be interesting to see if the rate of participation in online pokies, versus the land-based variety, plays a significant role in the differentials between gambling spend among residents of Melbourne’s East and West regions.