This week saw lots of articles following the release of recent QLD OLGR Gaming Expenditure data reports. The stories all outlined a large increase in gambling losses.
The ABC led the charge but other outlets picked up the story… and ran with it.
“Queenslanders have lost an extra half a billion dollars to gambling in a single year, with players losing the majority of their money through electronic gaming machines.”
“The latest figures from the Queensland government reveal gamblers lost $5.1 billion last financial year – up 11.3 per cent from the $4.6 billion lost the year before”.
The main premise of the articles, and in the data used in the story, is that the total gambling expenditure in QLD from July 2021-June 2022 Vs July 2022- June 2023 does indeed show that the gambling expenditure rose by 11.3% year-on-year.
But as with all data, you can always see different trends depending on the data segment you analyse.
From the QLD OLGR data since January 2019, there have been increases, particularly after the COVID lockdowns and the extended border closures in QLD. However, since October 2022 the gambling expenditure has been in decline with increasing non-discretionary costs biting into the players’ ability to spend. There has been a slight increase again in recent months but not anywhere near the heights reached after borders reopened through to mid-2022.
Yes, gambling expenditure is absolutely led by EGMs however, the decline there started back in July 2022.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath pointed to a number of measures taken up by the government to address gambling harm, including the $7.8 million it provided to Gambling Help Queensland in this year’s state budget.
“Queensland club and hotel gaming machines already have a $100 cash load-up limit and a minimum spin rate of 3 seconds per game,” she said.
“And as of July this year, 97 per cent of Queensland venues observe a shutdown period of six hours from 4am.”
Ms D’Ath said the government was also working towards making cashless gaming mandatory for transactions of over $1000 in Queensland casinos.
The headlines in this weeks’ stories are all true, the gambling expenditure for FY 21/22 and FY 22/23 did see an increase from $4.6 billion to $5.1 billion – but the full dataset shows its not the case currently, and the trend is for declines since the peak in July-October 2022.
Written by: Justine Channing – Gaming Specialist