Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Pickernell, D, Brown, KA, Keast, RL & Yousefpour, N 2009, 'The public management issues of access to electronic gaming machines (EGMs) : a case study of policy in Victoria, its effects and requirements for evaluation', 13th International Research Society for Public Management Conference (IRSPM XIII), Fredericksberg, Denmark, 6-8 April, IRSPM.


Wynne and Schaffer (2003) have highlighted both the strong growth of gambling activity in recent years, and the revenue streams this has generated for governments and communities. Gambling activities and the revenues derived from them have, unsurprisingly, therefore also been seen as a way in which to increase economic development in deprived areas (Jinkner-Lloyd, 1996). Consequently, according to Brown et al (2003), gambling is now a large taxation revenue earner for many western governments, at both federal and state levels, worldwide (for example UK, USA, Australia). In size and importance, the Australian gambling industry in particular has grown significantly over the last three decades, experiencing a fourfold increase in real gambling turnover.

There are, however, also concerns expressed about gambling and Electronic Gaming in particular, as illustrated in economic, social and ethical terms in Oddo (1997). There are also spatial aspects to understanding these issues. Marshall’s (1998) study, for example, highlights that benefits from gambling are more likely to accrue at the macro as opposed to the local level, because of centralised tax gathering and spending of tax revenues, whilst localities may suffer from displacement of activities with higher multipliers than the institutions with EGMs that replace them. This also highlights a regional context of costs, where benefits accrue to the centre, but the costs accrue to the regions and localities, as simultaneously resources leave those communities through both the gambling activities themselves (in the form of revenue for the EGM owners), and the government (through taxes).

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