Title

'Pushing buttons': an evaluation of the effect of Aboriginal income managment on commercial gambling expenditure

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Young, M & Lamb, D 2011, ''Pushing buttons': an evaluation of the effect of Aboriginal income managment on commercial gambling expenditure', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 119-140.

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007 was a radical intervention into the lives of Aboriginal residents of the Northern Territory, Australia. One of the intervention's key measures was income management--a scheme designed to limit the range of goods and services that may be purchased with social security payments. The aim of income management was to curb 'anti-social behaviours' such as excessive gambling and alcohol consumption. In this paper, we specifically test the efficacy of income management in reducing the amount spent on commercial gambling. To achieve this we conduct an interrupted time series analysis with deflated monthly electronic gaming machine (EGM) expenditure data from July 2002 to July 2010 for hotels and clubs in the towns of Alice Springs and Katherine. We find a negative association between income management and EGM revenues for only one gambling venue in each town. However, local complexity in the form of segregated markets along temporal, spatial and racial lines, along with other policy confounders, may obscure the effects of the macro-policy intervention. We conclude by making suggestions for locally-based responses to problematic forms of risky consumption that may be more sensitive to local geographies.