The Australian Governments key research body into family well-being, The Australian Institute of Family Studies, has released a report on “Gambling in Suburban Australia” (March 2019). The suburban Australian study was conducted in two areas of Melbourne over the last 3+ years. A total of 4 clubs and 7 hotels across those two areas were observed and compared to see what activities visitors were engaging in and what drove them to visit the venues. Interviews with 44 people who gambled, 20 of their partners, 65 general residents and 30 professionals, rounded out the 3+ year in depth research report.

The summary of findings give some insight into what the Australian Institute of Family studies sees as the key issues and areas for potential discussion and changes. For further information click here>>>> https://aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/gambling-suburban-australia

One area that was of significance for the club industry, when reading some of the respondents’ opinions of the benefits of clubs to the local community, suggests we do an extremely poor job of conveying those benefits provided by clubs through social connection, charity support and financial funding. Donations to local charities, schools, hospitals, sporting teams and community groups each year are often in addition to tax payments and ClubGRANTS and are clearly not communicated to the general public. The significant number and variety of direct jobs in clubs and hotels at all levels of skill, and the support of Australia entertainment industry is not an insignificant benefit that is also not well understood.

While we can always improve, it would be very rare to come across a club management team or board that does not have their local community at heart. This should be a focus for every club and hotel in the coming year ensuring that their community understands the level of funding that resources facilities and community groups in their area.