The Victoria government has released their 2019 update to the Historical Yearly EGM LGA Expenditure and what has followed has been media stories of massive increases in gaming expenditure. They are correct, gambling expenditure has increased in 2018/19 compared to the previous year…by only 0.13%. The new data release is for Gaming Expenditure only and does not yet include “per adult expenditure” data which takes into consideration large population increases across the state and will show a decline in per adult spend in gaming.
In the absence of VIC govt “per adult” data for the 2018/19 year so far, a look at previous years confirms an overall decline in the last 7 years in per adult spend in the areas highlighted by many of the media articles shown above. In Kingston and Macedon, the results are about the same as they were 3 years ago, but still well below levels of expenditure historically.
Many of the media articles are supported by information from Alliance for Gambling Reform, funded by the local councils highlighted in the articles1, and suggest the total expenditure increases negatively impacts the most vulnerable regions.
However, in areas that were listed as having the highest unemployment rate in the 2017/18 Victorian Gaming Commission published information, there has been a consistent decline in per adult expenditure.
It is expected, based on historically consistent population increases in Victoria, that when released the 2018/19 period should confirm the average EGM expenditure per adult is at its lowest level for many years, and continuing to decline.
Victorian Commission for Gaming Regulation: current_population_density_stats_egm_data_
Victorian Commission for Gaming Regulation: historical_yearly_egm _data_by_lga_2002-2019_0
Victorian Commission for Gaming Regulation: historical_population_density_stats_egm_data_