Australia is unique in the world for the widespread availability of electronic gambling machines (EGMs, or 'pokies') in local community hotels and clubs. In most other countries, high-intensity forms of gambling are largely confined to casinos, meaning people who gamble must make a deliberate effort to visit these venues.
While gambling consumption is affected by a range of factors, including those at the individual level (such as life experiences and stressors), place and social context also play a substantial role in determining the use of available gambling opportunities.
This report will explore the role of social and environmental factors in influencing EGM use in local hotels and clubs. It will show how availability (and, in some cases, saturation) of gambling venues influences EGM use, and how, in disadvantaged areas, the problem is compounded by a lack of alternative social spaces. It will also show how gambling-related harm can be significantly magnified and intensified in areas already experiencing socio-economic stress, when compared with less disadvantaged areas.